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Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins called the team’s offer on a long-term deal “fair” and added team executive Bruce Allen has his “respect,” even if many saw the fact Allen released the details of negotiations as a slight.
“My take will be different than what it appeared the public perception was,” Cousins said in an interview on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday. “I understand where he and the organization are coming from. I think in his position, you have to do that.”
It was Cousins’ first public statements since the two failed to agree on a long-term contract by Monday’s deadline and the starting QB will play the 2017 season under the one-year franchise tag.
Allen, the Redskins’ president, issued a statement Monday that took the unusual step of of releasing particulars of the negotiations on a long-term deal with Cousins this offseason, including what was called the “highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback” of $53 million.
“It was a great starting point,” Cousins said. “It was a great offer to get the ball rolling and the conversation going. I think it was a fair offer. So, I respect and appreciate Bruce’s approach. He communicated with me that they were going to need to let the story be known as to where they were coming from and I said I totally understand that.”
Still Cousins and his team didn’t respond to that “great offer.” He said the fact he’s tagged is the main reason they chose not to make a counter-offer to the Redskins.
“I just felt peace about not making an offer,” Cousins said. “I want to gather more information so I can make the best decision I can. The one-year deal doesn’t scare me.”
Cousins, who is entering his sixth season in the league, will play under the franchise tag for the second consecutive season, which means he will earn nearly $24 million in 2017. His guaranteed money would about the same if he’s given the franchise tag next year, so the Redskins really only offered two seasons of guaranteed salary.
Cousins, wit,h a good season and remaining healthy stands make much more in guaranteed money if he hits the open market in some fashion in 2018.
Allen appeared to misstate Cousins’s first name — it sounded like he said “Kurt” six times — in an appearance in front of a select group of reporters on Monday. Team spokesperson told ESPN that it sounded that way because of Allen’s accent.
“I have been called ‘Kurt’ my entire life,” Cousins said. “I have had different teachers and instructors call me ‘Kurt’ and it doesn’t matter.”