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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

When a case of the Mondays is simply too much, try a sixpack.

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1. When I am thinking about what topics to make an integral part or theme of The Audible, I always have to spend a moment pondering just how much time needs to be spent on arguing about Kirk Cousins' contract. This week, yet another element of the debate has reared its ugly head, as it has been reported that the Philadelphia Eagles were potentially gearing up for a run at our guy. FOR SHAME PHILLY!!!

2. Similar to when you say a word over and over and over again, the whole Kirk Cousins argument has pretty much lost all meaning to me at this point. Where once I was certain a long term deal would get worked out between the club and the team, I am simply no longer so sure. If you are a guy with your head screwed on halfway properly, you know that your life and the life of your family is secured with one $20 million payday. In short, Kirk ain't no dummy. If he never plays another down after this season, he will never have to worry about providing for his family ever again. That's powerful. I think that--given this logic--he could lock down at least twice that amount of guaranteed money right now, but how many gamblers do you know that feel pretty comfortable betting on their abilities with $20 million in the bank?

3. Coming at it from the team's perspective, what has transpired is exactly what I and so many others have suggested was necessary: keep Cousins from being able to walk away and leave us worse off than before he got here. If somehow he was able to depart from town without the Redskins getting any compensation, I think this organization would have taken many steps backward. It would not just be back to square one in the pursuit of a signal-caller. It would be a slap in the face of all the players who had pledged their support and loyalty to the leader of the locker room. It would be a death knell for the coaching staff. It would hamstring McLovin in his pursuit of a 53-man unit, as he would have to allocate time and resources to solving the quarterback problem...again.

4. As scary as this one-year deal is, and as seriously as I think Kirk is thinking about playing it out, let's take a second and appreciate a silver lining I see: teams get burned by the performance of quarterbacks every year--quarterbacks that were bought for HUGE sums of money and resources (sound familiar?). I am not just talking about trading up for guys like Robert Griffin III, or staking your future to a guy like Heath Shuler. I am talking about swallowing a $20 million+ contract for a guy whose performance potentially drops off a cliff. I am not saying that is what would happen with Kirk--I believe the opposite actually--but franchises wear a lot of risk on the front side of these deals, as the guaranteed money is calculated based on however many years teams and agents feel the player's play warrants top dollar (usually). For all those begging for Kirk to play for his money, they get their wish. For everyone worried about the long term stability of the Redskins roster, there is currently no player being locked up for eight or nine figures. It's something.

5. I think this debate is also being seen in the light of the escalating salary cap more than it was a couple months ago. As I have drunkenly screamed on The Audible, locking Kirk into $20 million per year today looks way better in three years when the cap has shot up in the exponential fashion everyone keeps talking about. I think that would be a market deal today, and I simply don't ideologically oppose paying a player like Kirk Cousins what the market suggests he is worth. At that rate, he is a steal to us because I contend that he is not worth more to ANYONE (was feeling a lack of caps all of a sudden) than he is to us. He is our guy. We are where we are right now because--at least in part--of his play. Much  like an offensive lineman getting to the second level and blocking for a runner, Kirk's presence and continued development allows our coaching staff and front office the chance to focus on building every other nook and cranny of the roster. It's a beautiful thing really.

6. This all leads to the crux of my argument all along: if anyone should "know" about Kirk Cousins, it is the Washington Redskins. The franchise has watched him work from up close for four years. Even when he wasn't on the field his first two seasons, his habits and work ethic have been on full display for this organization. He was selected and groomed initially by none other than Mike Shanahan, a coach who knows when he has a "guy" on his hands. Shanny thought Kirk was always going to someone's "guy." As for "proving it" on the field, people are quick to point out Kirk's record against teams with a winning record, or his pedestrian performance for at least half of last season. I view it from another angle. I see the way that he struggled in 2014--mightily struggled--and the he came back in 2015 as a player. You don't have to be Vince Lombardi to recognize the improvement. When you look at his second half of the 2015 season, the popular argument is that it was just a half a season. This is true, but look at the trend. Look at where he started and how he finished. Look at what he showed us in 2014 and how he worked to change those things that needed changing. In the NFL, where careers can flash in front of our eyes, I am hard-pressed to think of too many other players you would step up and pay than a man like Kirk Cousins. There is risk inherent in every deal you sign, but when you know a player better than anyone else, and what you know is based on this trend of self-improvement and team improvement, the risk is well within acceptable levels, isn't it? I just feel that if we don't know after four years of employing a guy whether or not he is our "guy," then we actually know he isn't our "guy." I think we do know he is our man, and I think the actions of the team are consistent with that fact, and so yes, I do think we will lock him up to a megadeal in the coming weeks or months.