September 16, 2016

Few NFL storylines had stronger legs this offseason than Kirk Cousins’s contract. Not surprisingly, Washington and its 28-year-old QB could not figure out a long-term deal. His value is difficult to determine. Yes, his numbers in the second half of last season were eye-popping: 2,212 yards, 19 touchdowns against two interceptions, passer rating of 126.1; and he helped lead the team to an unlikely NFC East title. But prior to that, in eight starts between the 2013 and ’14 seasons, and his eight to start ’15, Cousins was erratic. Further complicating negotiations: he played in an exceptionally well-constructed offense that can simplify the QB’s job. How Cousins performs in 2016 will determine not just his future, but also Washington’s.

— Andy Benoit

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