If the Redskins want Kirk Cousins long-term, they have to show him the love. No more messing around, no more low balling. It’s time to get real and accept his market rate.
Market rate isn’t cheap.
Here’s a mock-up of what I think should be pretty close to getting it done. Andrew Luck’s contract set the template that I believe Mike McCartney is going to aim to replicate here:
Headline numbers: 6 year, $150 million deal with $92.25 million guaranteed ($25 million per season). It includes a $34 million signing bonus.
In this deal, Kirk’s base salaries for year one and two are fully guaranteed. Half of his year three base salary is fully guaranteed. To avoid having to get too heavy on the base salaries and signing bonus, roster bonuses are used to bump up the deal. Each of these bonuses would become fully guaranteed in the first week of each season.
So the true guarantees actually amount to $62.25 million. The Redskins wouldn’t have to pay these roster bonuses, but up until 2021 it would be prohibitively expensive not to.
The practical guarantees would be $83.25 million, if you were to assume the earliest exit-ramp for the Redskins is 2021. The final year of the deal is mostly for posture.
Like I said, market rate isn’t cheap, but the Redskins have sat on this for too long. It’s time to accept the fact this is going to cost more than they’d like, and pay it.
Before you decide this is simply too expensive, take a look at how I anticipate each cap hit to be as a percentage of the total cap. This is calculated on the basis the cap grows 7% each year – and this is a conservative estimate given the NFL recently raised it by just over 9%.
Cousins would never cost more than 13.8% of the cap.
13.8% for a Quarterback who will probably give us a season, every season? Sign me up.