Kirk Cousins insists he isn’t feeling any added pressure from playing the 2017 season with a franchise tag rather than having a long-term contract with the Washington Redskins.
The quarterback has gone through plenty of pressure situations. There was high school, when it went right down to the wire as to whether Cousins would a college scholarship. There was Michigan State, where he didn’t know if he would even be drafted by the NFL until his senior year.
‘This is not my first rodeo saying, Hey, this is a big year and it’s going to determine a lot of things in the future’
And then there was last season with the Redskins, playing on a franchise tag that led him to … another franchise tag that will guarantee him about $24 million.
“This is not my first rodeo saying, ‘Hey, this is a big year and it’s going to determine a lot of things in the future,'” Cousins told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training camp tour stop at Redskins camp. “So when you have reps doing that, you’ve learned what works and what I’ve learned works is win football games. We won a lot of games my (final) high school year, we won a lot of games my senior year at Michigan State and we had a winning record last year, so we win football games, everything works out.
‘I’ve built some credibility here and I can build myself and develop myself’
“In one hand, you’re always trying to prove yourself, because there should never be entitlement, there should never be a feeling of, ‘I’ve arrived.’ On the flip side, I’m not going out there saying, ‘On every pass, I need to validate my role on this team.’ I’ve built some credibility here and I can build myself and develop myself. And if I make a mistake here or there, I can shrug my shoulders, learn from it, process it and move on.”
Cousins realizes he can’t allow his contract situation to take away from where his attention needs to be.
‘The contract stuff has worked itself out, it will work itself out’
“It is not an easy job playing quarterback in this league,” he said. “As you can see, they’re not finding 32 guys who can do it year in and year out at a high level, so it is not easy. It is a challenge, it takes everything I’ve got. It takes more focus to play quarterback than anything else I’ve ever done in life. So that’s where my focus needs to be.
“The contract stuff has worked itself out, it will work itself out. This is not the first rodeo for me. We know how to focus on the job each and every Sunday, and then cross that bridge when we come to it at the end of the season.”
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