Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has signed his franchise tag for the 2017 season. Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins on Feb. 28 and remain hopeful about a long-term deal.
After receiving the exclusive franchise tag from the Washington Redskins on Feb. 28, quarterback Kirk Cousins has signed his franchise tender.
Cousins, 28, is entering his sixth season with the Redskins and third as the team's starting quarterback.
Since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Cousins has thrown for more than 12,000 yards with 72 touchdown passes to 42 interceptions.
Cousins has started every game for the Redskins over the last two years, leading Washington to a combined 17-14-1 regular season record and an NFC East title in 2015.
He finished the 2016 season with 4,917 yards – 15th most in NFL history -- and 25 touchdowns along with 12 interceptions. He also compiled a season passer rating of 97.2 and earned NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors in November.
He is also the first player in franchise history to win multiple NFC Offensive Player of the Month awards. He also was named to the Pro Bowl, becoming the first Redskins quarterback to appear in the annual all- star game since Brad Johnson in 1999.
Additionally, he holds franchise single-season records in passing yards (4,917), attempts (606), completions (406) and yards per game (307.3), all of which he achieved in the 2016. Those are records he also set in 2015.
While the exclusive franchise tag for Cousins is essentially a one-year deal worth nearly $24 million, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said at the NFL Scouting Combine he's still optimistic about locking in the quarterback into a long-term deal. They have until July 15 to sign a potential deal.
Take a look at the top photos of Kirk Cousins from the 2016 season.
"Well, we'd like to keep Kirk here obviously, and we think he's going to be our quarterback for a long time," Gruden said. "And to have that opportunity to negotiate with him and get a long-term deal is what we want to do. Let's move forward, and tag him and try to get a deal done and go from there."
In order for a deal to be sealed, though, the Redskins and Cousins' representatives must come to the right agreement.
"We can offer him the world, and if he doesn't want to sign it, he doesn't have to sign it," Gruden said. "I think it'll happen, I really do. We'll wait and see. I'm going to coach the players that are here, and I fully anticipate Kirk being the quarterback."
Even though the Redskins lost wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon in free agency, having Cousins under center for the long term would give the Redskins a piece to build around at the most essential position in all of sports.
"We know how important that position is in pro football, and to have a guy here that's been developing in the system for the last two years, we take very seriously," Gruden said. "We see his progress, we see the progress that he's going to make and we're excited about that. We'd love to have a long-term deal done obviously, and hopefully that will happen here in the near future, but we do like where he's going with his game and we feel good about having him here as a Redskin for a long time."