Redskins GM says he'd like to sign Cousins to long-term deal

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan would rather sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal than use the franchise tag on him.

Meeting with reporters at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday, his first session with the media since the NFC East champion Redskins' season ended with a wild-card round loss in the playoffs, McCloughan also noted that the team has more than a month to release Robert Griffin III without his contract counting against the salary cap.

McCloughan said the Redskins want to keep Cousins, who can leave via free agency.

The GM called using a franchise tag on Cousins ''an option'' but said ''you'd rather get a long-term deal done.''

''Going forward, of course we'd like to have him around. The philosophy with me and the organization is we won't talk contract stuff with the media,'' McCloughan said. ''But I want him to be part of the Redskins.''

While Washington is expected to cut Griffin, who lost the starting QB job to Cousins late in the preseason, McCloughan said he ''certainly'' could see a scenario where the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year could remain with the team. Griffin is the only Washington QB under contract for next season, but his 2016 deal is only guaranteed for injury.

''The thing that's good about where we're at right now is we have until March 9'' to release Griffin, McCloughan said.

''He's under contract,'' the GM said. ''And that's where we're at right now.''

As for free agency, McCloughan said: ''I think we'll have a little bit of money but ... we're not going to be big players. I don't believe in that.''

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