The Washington Redskins believe they have found their man at the quarterback position. After Robert Griffin III disappeared into the shadows, Kirk Cousins emerged as a perfect option for the team leading them into the playoffs this year. Cousins picked the right time to have a career season as he prepares to hit free agency. The Redskins have no intentions of letting him even dip a toe into the market pool as they hope a long-term contract can be agreed upon.
While speaking at the Senior Bowl via ESPN, general manager Scot McCloughan told the media that he wants Cousins signed to a contract and now given the franchise tag.
"But we saw improvements as the season went on. Of course we'd like to have him around," McCloughan said, via ESPN.com. "[But] our philosophy with me and the organization is that we won't talk contract stuff with the media, but we want him as part of the Redskins. You'd rather not [use the franchise tag]. You'd like to get a long-term deal done, but we have options, and that's one of them."
Cousins confirmed that the franchise tag is on the table and that the ball is in the court of the Redskins right now when it comes to getting a deal signed. Determining a long-term contract for Cousins is not going to be easy. He basically has one season of success under his belt and while he has shown a long of progress and potential, putting a number on that will be difficult. The Redskins also run the risk of using their franchise tag on Cousins and then having another team swoop in with two first-round draft picks ready to pluck him away. Getting a long-term deal done is better for everyone.
Cousins is not the only issue the Redskins face this season. According to the Washington Post, a decision between Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson plagues the team right now. Jackson is not a favorite of the front office, but is their best down-field threat. Garcon is an aging veteran with a heavy salary cap hit who is beloved by the coaching staff. The team will need to decide who is the better option to keep around and who allows them more flexibility at the position.
The same will be questioned at the run game as Alfred Morris hits free agent. Head coach Jay Gruden has been a fan of Morris this season, but he did not light it up on the field like the team was hoping. Morris has stressed that he wants to play his entire career in Washington, but the Post writes that a lot of that will be determined by what his contract demands are. McCloughan wants to bring the same team back in 2016 in order to make another run at the playoffs, but doing so will be easier said than done.