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Redskins Are 'Behind' Kirk Cousins Heading Into 2016 Season


While the Redskins will continue to try to work out a long-term deal prior to the July 15 deadline, the team is behind Kirk Cousins regardless of his contract situation.

The Washington Redskins want to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins on the roster for the foreseeable future, but the team also wants to make sure that all 53 players on the active roster are in thought, too, before potentially signing him to the right deal.

Speaking to ESPN 980 on Tuesday morning, Redskins vice president of football administration Eric Schaffer said "everything is positive" from both sides as a they try to work out a long-term deal before next month's deadline.

Cousins is currently set to play the upcoming season under the franchise tag, which is nearly $20 million for a quarterback.

"We all want to make this work out and we all want to make this work out long-term," Schaffer said. "Jay [Gruden] and the coaching staff are obviously very supportive of Kirk, and that's one of the things I admire about Jay. Sometime about half way through last year some things weren't going as well and Jay had to stand up in front of all you media [and] sort of talk about it every week, 'Hey, there's no quarterback controversy, Kirk's our guy.'"

The decision to not only go with Cousins, but to keep him in the lineup "really bore fruit," as he led the Redskins on a run to an NFC East title behind one of the best seasons by a quarterback in franchise history.

Cousins would finish the year setting single-season team records for attempts (543), completions (379), passing yards (4,166) and 300-yard passing games (seven).

Additionally, Cousins threw a touchdown pass in all 16 regular season games, becoming the first player in team history to throw a touchdown in all 16 games in a season since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.

"For all of us around Kirk, he's such an easy guy to root for," Schaffer said. "He studies harder than anybody, he works harder than anybody and everybody wants him to succeed and knows he's got that ability. As I said, I think Jay really standing there and saying 'He's our guy' was always a certainty. I think we were all behind him."

Building up a competitive roster requires multiple departments being on the same page

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on Wednesday was named to the NFL's 'Top 100 Players of 2016' list, checking in at No. 85.

While Gruden leads the team on game days and in practices and general manager Scot McCloughan picks the players he wants on the roster, the process wouldn't be complete without the financial side keeping things in line under the cap.

"You have coaching, scouting/personnel and money and the cap, and if all those three don't mesh then that's really where you can make mistakes and have problems," Schaffer said. "So in other words, if Scot and the personnel department feel strongly about a player and feel he'll play a particular role and end up paying a player for a particular role and then Jay and the coaches feel he's not a good fit for our scheme and it doesn't match, then none of that works out. That is why we are constantly meeting, everyone is meeting together. Everyone is voicing their opinion and adding their particular area of expertise. Every team will make mistakes, but the best chance you have is when everyone is on the same page."

Once the Redskins place their sights on a player they feel will be a quality addition, Schaffer works hand-in-hand with the agent to complete a deal that makes sense for both sides.

"We have to think about 53 players at all times and we have to think of two, three years out of how we are building our team, how we are putting it together knowing that if we make a mistake it could really hurt the team down the road," Schaffer said. "You just have to be mindful of all 53 when you are doing any contract."

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