Why did the contract talks between the Washington Redskins and QB Kirk Cousins stall before this year’s deadline? The numbers had to be right for Cousins to commit to the Redskins long-term, just like the numbers had to be right for the Redskins to commit to their QB. That obviously didn’t happen, and the gap between what the Redskins were offering, and what would get a deal done were far apart.
According to Ian Rapoport, the deal that the Redskins offered to Kirk Cousins in May, was the same deal they offered him before the deadline. Cousins never brought a counter offer to the table, and has said he wants to wait until after this year to see the state of the organization, and to gauge his future then.
According to sources informed of the situation, the way the negotiations were handled were part of the reason, as well. For instance, Washington made this offer to Cousins in May. Then, Allen met with Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, for drinks in Chicago. Later, Allen flew out to meet with Cousins and his father in a very positive meeting that lasted more than four hours.
Following the meeting, Allen said the team would be making another offer to Cousins before the July 17 deadline. What did Cousins receive in July? Literally an identical offer as the team made him in May. Nothing changed and that's why talks went nowhere.
Here is Redskins Team President Bruce Allen’s statement after the deadline passed and a long-term deal was not signed.
The guaranteed money in this offer was not on top of the ~$24 million Cousins was already guaranteed this year playing on the franchise tag, and was obviously not going to get a deal done. The Redskins and Kirk Cousins have another season to evaluate each other and the future of their relationship. The team has the option to franchise him for a third time next year, and the cost keeps rising. The transition tag will be worth ~$28 million, while the exclusive and non-exclusive tags will be worth ~$34 million. Now back to regularly schedule season opener.