Both sides appear comfortable with the result. Washington general manager Scot McCloughan wants to see more of the team's starting quarterback before selling the farm to keep him around, while the Cousins camp wasn't about to furnish the Redskins with a hometown discount.
The upcoming campaign will shape Cousins' value heading into next offseason, but for today, McCloughan is content to let the year play itself out.
"Like I said, it's part of the business that I don't like at all, just because you want to take care of your own no matter what," McCloughan recently told SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio, per The Washington Post, when asked why so many tagged players don't wind up with long-term deals. "And there's a reason why you do franchise them, because you respect their talent and their abilities. But the market's the market, and some teams will do certain things that throw the market off, so then you've got to step back and say, 'Okay, who do we have next year? (Are) there three to five to seven guys that we want to extend prior to the last year of their deal, or do we want to go after one and know we're going to lose three or four next year?'
"So it's a fine line, and like I said, it's tough, but that's why we do this," McCloughan said. "It's the market. The NFL's a phenomenal, phenomenal entity, and the money's incredible. But the way I look at it is I want Kirk in a long-term deal, no doubt about it, but also I'm not gonna put our franchise in a situation where we're gonna lose three or four younger guys that I think are gonna be good football players for one guy. I won't do it. You know, that's just how it is."
McCloughan acknowledged that both sides would have liked to work out a new contract, saying of Cousins: "Hopefully he's our quarterback for a long time going forward."
The Redskins general manager, though, was hired to rebuild the entire roster and think about the overall health of Washington's salary cap. From that angle, the club's more cautious approach is the opposite of what we saw the Texans do, throwing a massive amount of money at Brock Osweiler, the largely untested former Broncos quarterback who marches into next season with 18 fewer NFL starts than Cousins. McCloughan, though, doesn't see Washington as simply a quarterback away from building a lasting postseason contender.
"The quarterback position's very, very important, but you know what, so is every other position," McCloughan said. "We need football players. We need multiple football players, not one."