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Cousins to play on tag; called 'Kurt' by Allen

From ESPN - July 17, 2017

The Washington Redskins failed to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal, setting the stage for his possible departure next offseason.

Team president Bruce Allen said in a statement that Cousins was "obviously important to our team and fans" and detailed the team's offer made to the quarterback. He also talked about the decision in a video posted on the team's website but referred to Cousins on five occasions as "Kurt" instead of Kirk.

"Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins," Allen said Monday in the statement. "On May 2, right after the draft, we made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million) and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury. The deal would have made him at least the second highest-paid player by average per year in NFL history.

"But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk's agent this year. Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis," Allen said. "While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before the season, we accept his decision."

Because the Redskins and Cousins could not come to an agreement by the Monday deadline, they ca not negotiate a long-term deal until after their season ends.

That means Cousins will become the first NFL quarterback to play under the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, earning $23.9 million. The Redskins had publicly stated numerous times that they wanted Cousins here for the long term. However, his leverage placed him in an earnings bracket the Redskins were unable or unwilling to reach.

The Redskins have viewed Cousins as being good, but not great, and their offers reflected that sentiment. They offered Cousins a five-year deal for approximately $20 million per season earlier in the offseason, with "low guarantees" according to one source. Another offer included only one guaranteed season in addition to the guaranteed money from the tag in 2017.

Cousins' side did not counter the initial offer, knowing if he was franchised he'd make $23.9 million guaranteed -- and then hit free agency in 2018, or be tagged again. If the latter occurred, he'd make either $28 million guaranteed under the transition tag or $34.5 million under a third franchise tag.

But the two sides had talked more in recent months, with Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, conducting at least two face-to-face meetings with Allen since late March. Owner Dan Snyder became more involved shortly before the draft, taking Cousins out to dinner and communicating with him through various means to let him know of his desire to retain him. It's one reason multiple sources say Cousins would be open to signing a long-term deal in Washington after the season.

"We both share high hopes for this season and we are looking forward to training camp starting next week," Allen said in the statement. "And we remain hopeful that a long-term contract will be signed in the future."

Bruce Allen, in statement

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