Kirk Cousins could have to make the biggest decision of his professional career if the Washington Redskins choose not to franchise tag him for a third consecutive season, and he insists that decision will not come down to one factor only.
In an appearance on PFT Live Tuesday, Cousins made it clear that he does not intend to simply sign with the highest bidder if he hits free agency this summer.
“Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No,” Cousins said. “It is about winning, and that’s what I want more than anything, so I’m going to be willing to make sacrifices or do what has to be done to make sure I’m in the best possible position to win, and that’s what the focus is going to be.”
Cousins has pocketed nearly $45 million playing under the franchise tag over the past two seasons, so he has already made a ton of money. His next contract will almost certainly be one of the richest in NFL history, so it makes sense that he isn’t going to sign with a lousy team — ahem, Cleveland Browns, ahem — just because they blow him away with an offer.
If the Redskins choose to franchise Cousins for a third straight year, he will make roughly $34 million in 2018. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, as Cousins will only turn 30 this summer.
“I think we’ll do what we’ve done the past two seasons. There’s no need to change the script,” he said. “Stay consistent with the plan: Let the team do what they want to do. We’ll see what the Redskins want to do and then I’ll react accordingly.”
For a while, it seemed like Cousins was destined to end up playing for Mike Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers. That all changed when the Niners acquired Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade earlier this season. While Cousins is open to playing under the franchise tag again, the same cannot be said for Washington’s head coach.