Most NFL players hate the franchise tag. They want a long-term contract. They want long-term security. Kirk Cousins, however, is different. The Redskins quarterback has no problem with the franchise tag.
Of course, that might be because he made $23.9 million this past season.
“I’ve never complained about being on the franchise tag,” Cousins said on The DA Show. “I feel really good about it. My situation has been fine. I have no complaints. I really chose to play on the franchise tag this past season, and the team was very much behind me and believing in me and was willing to do something longer. I’m fine with the way it’s been. I have no regrets. In pro sports, as you know, it’s so uncertain. You never know what the next year brings, so you don’t try to look too far down the road and just take the next step – which, for me, something’s going to happen here in March.”
Cousins, 29, likely won’t be franchise-tagged again – Washington would owe him $34.5 million in 2018 – but he seems very much open to staying in D.C.
“More than anything, I just want to win football games,” he said. “I want nothing more than to see the fans – specifically the fans in D.C. – have something to cheer about, something to get behind. Someday I want to see multiple home playoff wins. That would be special to get behind that and give them something to cheer about. So that’s ultimately where my focus is.”
Cousins, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, has spent six seasons in the NFL, including three as a starter – all with Washington. In his first three seasons, Cousins had 18 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Over his last three seasons, he has 94 touchdowns (81 pass, 13 rush) and 36 interceptions.
That’s quite an improvement – and Cousins feels it.
“I didn’t see myself as a Super Bowl quarterback yet,” he said, referring to his rookie season. “I was a backup, I had only started one game in this league, and I was just learning what I needed to do on a daily basis to make it. Every year I’ve played, there’s a greater level of confidence, greater level of experience, and as a result, you set your sights higher and higher. There’s no doubt that this year watching the Super Bowl on the couch is a little more painful than it was my rookie year – a lot more painful. That’s what you’re playing to do, is to win games and ultimately win a world championship. Your focus really isn’t anywhere else at this point.”