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The NFL deadline to sign players designated a franchise player to a long-term deal came and went Monday without Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins agreeing to a long-term deal.
Redskins president Bruce Allen released a statement Monday, saying he met with Cousins in person and the sixth-year quarterback and his agent "made it clear" Cousins prefers to play on a one-year deal.
"After discussions with Kirk face-to-face over the weekend, I want to clarify our negotiations for this year," Allen wrote. "Kirk is obviously important to our team and fans, and they deserve to know where things stand. Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins.
"On May 2nd, 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."
Cousins will play under the franchise tender for the second straight season after going to his first Pro Bowl last season. The 28-year-old Michigan State alumnus threw for a career-high 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season and ran for another four scores. It was his second straight 4,000-yard passing season after putting up 4,166 yards with a career-best 29 touchdowns and 11 picks for a personal-best 101.6 passer rating.
"While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before this season, we accept his decision," Allen said. "We both share high hopes for this season and we are looking forward to training camp starting next week. And we remain hopeful that a long-term contract will be signed in the future."
Cousins has likely priced himself out of Washington for next season and could be looking at a huge payday next spring and many believe he is hoping to reunite with former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is now the head coach in San Francisco.
Despite not coming to an agreement on a long-term deal, Cousins will be handsomely paid in 2017 with a one-year contract worth nearly $24 million. That is after he played on a one-year contract last season worth almost $20 million.
"Even if it says it’s a three or four-year contract, really the only guarantees are this year," Cousins said in May. "Many of us are playing on one-year deals. I’m not the only one and we’re not going to have careers if we don’t have a great year this year, so we all don’t look much further than this season.
"I feel good about the direction we’re headed and we’ll see where it ends up, but bottom line is I’m in a good place. Now, we just have to go and win a lot of football games."