Kirk Cousins: They Won’t Tag You If They Don’t Want You

Kirk Cousins, by all accounts, would like to sign a long-term contract with the Washington Redskins, but that contract – as is the case with all contracts – must work for both sides.

So, what number will it take for Cousins to sign a long-term deal with Washington? What’s reasonable?

“I think my agent and the team will talk about what’s reasonable, but more than anything, you want to feel wanted,” Cousins said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It’s not always about the money; it’s about what the money represents. If they tag me, like I said last year when I got tagged, I would feel wanted. They’re not going to tag you if they don’t want you back.”

Some players hate getting franchise-tagged because they want total control over their future. They want to test the market. Other players, however, don’t mind it.

Cousins doesn’t mind it. Of course, that might be because he, if tagged, would receive nearly $24 million in 2017, thus giving him essentially a two-year, $44 million deal for 2016-17 combined.

“My agent told me from day one (about the pros of franchise tags),” Cousins said. “This goes back to when Joe Flacco was playing in the Super Bowl and he was going to be a free agent. My agent said, ‘Kirk, the franchise tag is a quarterback’s friend. It really does work in your favor.’ So we’ve taken that approach, and we’ll continue to take that approach.”

Gottlieb, though, put forth an intriguing possibility: If Cousins is not tagged by March 1, he becomes a free agent – and thus, could sign with San Francisco. The 49ers need a quarterback, and Kyle Shanahan was Cousins’ offensive coordinator in 2012-13. 

That possibility has to be in the back of Cousins’ mind, no?

“Well, it doesn’t have to be in the back of my brain because if I’m tagged, it really isn’t even a discussion,” said Cousins, who threw for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. “I’m a free agent March 1 (if) I don’t get tagged. If I get tagged March 1, I never really was a free agent. So we’ll see what the Redskins want to do. The ball’s in their court and I’ll react accordingly. But that possibility is certainly out there if a bunch of other circumstances fall in line.”

In other news, Cousins, 28, spoke glowingly of former offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

McVay turned 31 in January. Is he really ready to be a head coach?

“I think he got hired for a reason,” Cousins said. “He had to overcome the fact that he’s 30 or 31 to be hired. He had to be that impressive, and I believe he is. He’s that good of a leader, and he’s that dynamic of a personality, and he’s that sharp. He knows the game, he works really hard – he’s mature beyond the age of 31. I think the fact that they were able to look past that says a lot about the way he interviewed and the knowledge of the game that he has. I’m excited for him. I think he’s got a great opportunity.” 

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