LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – He’s the employee of the month.
The deadline for the Redskins to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a multiyear contract or extension is July 15 – one month from today.**
**Editor’s note: Monday June 19, the NFL confirmed the new deadline is July 17 – as the 15th falls on a Saturday.
Earlier this year, Washington placed the franchise tag on its record-setting QB for the second straight year. Should the two sides not reach a deal by 4pm on July 17, Cousins will play the 2017 season on a one year contract.
Here are a compilation of quotes from Cousins and others about his contract situation:
June 14, 2017: “It’s a part, but it’s really about playing football and winning football games, and as I’ve said all along, if we do that, everything else takes care of itself. I hired Mike [McCartney] because I trust him to do the job and I feel like he’s done a very good job all the way along and while things he’s told me I haven’t always liked to hear or they haven’t always been easy to act on, he’s always been right as I look back. So I have great trust in his counsel and his approach and I’ll definitely be leaning on him as we go forward all the way through it.” -Kirk Cousins on if contract negotiations are an active source of stress in his daily life
June 13, 2017: “Well, we sure hope so. Right now after we finish this, we’re concerned about having a good practice today and the deadlines will take care of itself. I think we’ve been real clear over the year of what we think of Kirk and how we want him back.” -Redskins president Bruce Allen on if he is optimistic about Cousins’ contract negotiations
“Well, it’s hard to say to be involved with Kirk Cousins because I haven’t been in this position. But we do have people who have been involved with Kirk Cousins for the last year or so, so we’re going to make sure to continue to do what they’re doing. It might be good also to not step in and let [VP of Football Operations] Eric Schaffer finish the job.” -Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams on his involvement with Cousins currently
May 24, 2017: “I talk about as a quarterback getting experience and getting reps. I feel like when it comes to the contract, I have gotten reps now. I am getting used to answering questions and going through this now the second time through so I am not a rookie anymore when it comes to this stuff. It is a similar deal here too. It has been very positive. I have had really positive conversations with everybody involved throughout the process this offseason. I feel like everybody is on the same page and I really have nothing further to add to what has already been said. So I feel good about where I am at, where this team is at, where my teammates are at. And so it is just a matter of trying to move forward and we will see what happens come July 15. It will be a telling date as it was last summer.” -Cousins on contract negotiations
“Again, with the contract, this just isn’t my first time through it, so I’ve just kind of learned from previous experiences and if you know my story going back to high school, I played my senior year of high school with no scholarship offers, in fact there was a coach here from Northwestern today who was my recruiting coach at Northwestern, he’s still the running backs coach 10 years later at Northwestern and I was getting recruited by Northwestern, wanted a scholarship, they didn’t offer me, and it was just a reminder that you never know what’s going to happen. He was here today and I shook his hand and said hello and remembered them well and remembered Coach [Pat] Fitzgerald there well, but you realize that, hey, they made a decision, they went in a different direction and that’s fine and you play with that. You’re just always trying to go out there, prove yourself, learn. Senior year of college, much the same way, trying to get drafted, you just go and play and see where the chips will land and try not to let it get to you.” -Cousins on the stress of contract negotiations
“It’s a process. If nothing happens right now… As one person has told me, deadlines do deals. That’s just kind of a rule in negotiating, so why would something happen way before a deadline? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not in a hurry, they’re not in a hurry, so we’ll just see how things go. I’m being patient.” -Cousins on the progress made in contract negotiations
May 17, 2017: “It’s been positive. I feel good about the direction we’re headed and we’ll see where it ends up. But the bottom line is: I’m in a good place right now and now we have to go win a lot of football games.” -Kirk Cousins to Larry Michael on Redskins.com.
April 29, 2017: “I’m not involved in the contract negotiating at all. No, that’s not my cup of tea, nor do I want it to be. I just try to say ‘We want you,’ and ‘Please sign.’” -Head coach Jay Gruden on how involved he is in contract discussions with Cousins
March 14, 2017: “I did inquire if there was any interest in trading me to get an understanding of their perspective. The answer I got back was Mr. Snyder communicated his belief in me and desire for me to remain a Redskin. I see myself going through this negotiation process as there’s still time until the July 15 deadline. And from there you still have a whole 16-game season, and hopefully more games than that. And then from there, you can still be tagged again. And this entire process for me, from a contractual standpoint, has been framed by the franchise tag rules. It hasn’t really been framed by my market value. I would be content to go to the market and see what that value is and settle for whatever that is. But because of the franchise tag rules, and the team’s use of the tag, that just hasn’t taken place.” -Cousins to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his Know them from Adam podcast
December 14, 2016: “No, I think it is a possibility. I don’t want to speak for them on what they should do with their quarterback, but I do think he is growing and he’s going to be a solid football player in this league. And as I said, he seems to be more and more comfortable in Coach Gruden’s offense and, you know, again, if he gets in the playoffs, it’s going to be up to them to make their own decision on what they want to do but I think Kirk Cousins is a solid football player in this league.” -Head coach Jay Gruden on if the notion that Cousins has earned a long-term contract is ‘frivolous’
September 21, 2016: “I don’t think it weighs on me as much as it may seem, just because, first of all, at the end of the day, I believe that the Lord has a plan for my life and I trust that. And whether it’s to continue to be here, or with another team, or not even playing football, I’m going to trust his plan and take comfort in that. And if I’m not taking comfort in that, then I’m a bit of a hypocrite. Secondly, I feel like, and I’ve said this a lot, a little bit of a broken record, I’m always on a one-year deal. I feel like I’m on a one-game deal, a one-day deal. I’ve got to prove it over and over and over, so if I had been on a contract that is lasting many more years, I would still feel like if I don’t play well this year, they’re going to look for someone else. So, that really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with any type of expectation or desire to play well.” -Cousins on if his one-year deal weighs on him
July 28, 2016: “He doesn’t have to do a whole lot to get me. He’s just got to show the continued progress because the quarterback position, it’s about consistency. Great, he had one year – there have been a lot of quarterbacks in the history of the league that have had good, solid, one-year seasons. But it’s about having two, three, four years. Luckily for us, we’re in a position to look at him another year and he’s in a position to really put a stamp on himself as a quarterback in the National Football League, so really it’s a win-win situation. We want to keep Kirk, there’s no doubt about it. He wants to prove himself. I think it’s hats off to him and we’ll get something done, but we fully anticipate him improving in a big way this year.” -Head coach Jay Gruden on what Cousins needs to do this season to convince him he’s worth a long-term contract extension
July 28, 2016: “I’m OK. I’m not lying awake at night. I’m good, I feel comfortable. I got a pretty good raise this year. Last year I looking at a one-year deal making a lot less than I am making this year, so I feel fine. I’m good. I understand the risks – we all understand the risks – and we’re here and we’re ready to go to work. So you’re not going to hear any complaints from me.” -Cousins on weighing the risks of playing football against not having a long-term contract