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Redskins must build roster around a large Kirk Cousins contract

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Redskins must build roster around a large Kirk Cousins contract

Post by NewsBot on Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:35 am

Master Testfastsion @ WashingtonPost wrote:The season-long question about whether the Washington Redskins felt they had a franchise quarterback on the roster was answered during the second half of the campaign. The Redskins have seen enough from 27-year-old Kirk Cousins in his first full season as a starter to make him the team’s top priority this offseason, when he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins will aim to build their team around Cousins and, as a result, build their salary cap strategy around his contract. Washington has avoided shelling out big bucks on a quarterback because of the economical rookie contracts of Cousins and Robert Griffin III the past four seasons, but it will have to soon deal with the hefty cost to retain Cousins. The ramifications will impact the franchise’s decision-making, both in the short and long term, on how it juggles the cap while improving the roster.

Cap analysts currently expect the NFL base salary cap to be around $153.4 million next season, which would give the Redskins just over $12.7 million in cap space — the sixth-lowest figure in the NFL. Washington will receive some relief in the coming weeks once it inevitably releases Griffin, who has an unguaranteed base salary of $16.1 million next season, in the final year of his rookie deal. The transaction would increase the team’s cap space to a tick under $29 million.

That would place the Redskins in the middle of the pack with their cap figure before reaching a deal with Cousins. Still, it would be beneficial for the team to avoid slapping Cousins with the franchise tag and instead strike a multiyear deal this offseason. He is coming off a season in which he broke the franchise’s single-season passing yards mark (4,166), finished fifth in passer rating (101.6), recorded 34 total touchdowns and led the Redskins to their first NFC East division title since the 2012 season.
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