The Washington Redskins never wanted Kirk Cousins to even get close to the open market, and it doesn’t look like he will.
Per Pro Football Talk, the Redskins have given Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which is worth a robust $19.953 million. Cousins has been good for around half a season and won a bad NFC East for Washington in 2015, so the team’s willingness to pony up to that degree says more about the quarterback market than it does about Cousins’ performance last year.
As you might remember from the Summer of Dez last year—when Bryant was given the franchise tag, was openly unhappy about it and ultimately signed a long term deal right at the deadline—the two sides will have until July 15 to come to terms on a long term deal.
That could be difficult though because, as Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk points out, Cousins may well be less motivated to play 2015 on a long term deal when the franchise tag figure is such a big one.