In Washington or Elsewhere, Kirk Cousins Is Going to Make NFL History – The Ringer (blog)

Cousins now can’t sign a new deal until next year, and when he does, it may alter the economics of the league

Kirk Cousins is about to change the future of the quarterback market, and there’s still a debate over how good he is. He’s a Rorschach test of quarterbacks: You can look at him and see anything, and whatever it is you do see says a lot about you as a football observer. Is he a good quarterback, capable of delivering perennial playoff contention? Maybe. Is he a product of a souped-up era of quarterback statistics in which 4,000 yards is no longer extraordinary? Maybe a little bit of that, too.

But Cousins’s exact standing among quarterbacks doesn’t matter at the moment. He has reached the most sought-after threshold in the quarterback market: good enough. And from the perspective of bad teams, he’s about to reach the best possible status of any quarterback in years: available.

Cousins did not sign a long-term deal with the Redskins on Monday, and now he can’t until next year because of the league’s franchise-tag rules. That means he may change the economics of the sport. He will likely become the most coveted free agent since Peyton Manning in 2012, and unlike Manning then, Cousins will be entering his quarterbacking prime and his age-30 season. This is going to make Cousins an extremely rich man. He will either sign the biggest free-agent deal ever or the Redskins will franchise-tag him again next year for the third time, which will, according to Redskins reporters, give him around $34 million — or, about $9 million more than any other quarterback will make next year. (If the Saints pick up Drew Brees’s option, that number drops to $6 million.)

Until now, the quarterback market has been

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