ASHBURN, Va. — As Organized Team Activities begin at Redskins Park this week, there are a lot of changes both on and off the field for a Redskins team that went 8-7-1 a year ago, missing the playoffs.
There are a lot of new faces and many familiar faces are gone. The coaching staff looks very different with two new coordinators, and there is no general manager.
Among the many adjustments to be made with this year’s team, remains the big question: Will quarterback Kirk Cousins sign a long-term contract?
The two sides are in the same spot they were in a year ago. They have until July 15 to work out a deal, or Cousins will play the year under a second straight Franchise Tag, worth $24 million. Then the well-worn process starts all over after the end of the season.
“I talk about, as a quarterback, getting experience and getting reps,” Cousins said. “I feel like when it comes to the contract, I have gotten reps now. I am getting used to answering questions and going through this now the second time through. So I am not a rookie anymore when it comes to this stuff.”
Reports are that there has been no new offer since before the NFL combine. But Cousins said he’s been encouraged by the dialogue.
“It has been very positive. I have had really positive conversations with everybody involved throughout the process this offseason. I feel like everybody is on the same page. I feel good about where I am at, where this team is at, where my teammates are at. And so, it is just a matter of trying to move forward. And we will see what happens come July 15. It will be a telling date, as it was last summer,” he said.
If no deal is reached, the Redskins have said they would consider a third franchise tag, which would cost $34 million for the 2018 season. The transition tag would cost them $28 million, but the Redskins would receive no compensation if Cousins signed elsewhere. Those two scenarios don’t seem practical.
So, the dance continues as the team gets back to work on the field. Cousins doesn’t seem too worried that nothing has been finalized yet.
“As one person told me, deadlines do deals,” he said. “That’s just a rule in negotiating, so why would something happen way before a deadline? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not in a hurry, they’re not in a hurry, so we’ll just see how things go. I’m being patient.”
The Redskins have two more weeks of OTAs followed by a mandatory, three-day minicamp in June.