Kirk Cousins will play 2017 under franchise tag, reportedly open to long-term deal after season

1:05 | NFL
No long term deal for Redskins QB Kirk Cousins or Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell
Monday July 17th, 2017

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will play this season under the franchise tag, the team announced Monday

The deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET but Washington president Bruce Allen said in a statement Monday that Cousins has expressed no interest in reaching a multi-year agreement. Cousins "made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis," Allen said. 

Cousins is, however, open to striking a deal with the team following this upcoming season, reports ESPN.com's Adam Schefter.

The team's offer to Cousins on May 2 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," according to Allen. 

That $53 million figure is essentially what Cousins would earn in 2017 and 2018 if he were franchise-tagged for a third straight year.

Kirk Cousins Has All the Leverage Now

This is the second straight season Cousins has been franchise tagged. In 2016, he made $19.953 million under the tag. This season, he is scheduled to be paid $23.94 million and is eligible to be traded because he signed the tender.

Washington can again place the franchise tag on him next season, but if they do Cousins will be paid nearly $35 million.

Earlier in the offseason, Cousins said that he did not demand a trade away from the team, but instead asked about the franchise's plans after having the franchise tag placed on him.

Cousins, 28, completed 67% of his passes last season for a franchise record 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

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