The team and Kirk Cousins are still in talks on a long-term deal, McCloughan said. He characterized negotiations with Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, as positive and seems to think a deal is imminent.
"We're still in discussions and they're positive," McCloughan said Monday, via CSN Mid Atlantic. "You know, it takes both sides to get to an agreement. But ... it's a positive thing and there's a positive feeling here about him."
There should be. Cousins finished the 2015 season on an epic tear. During his final 10 games, he completed 72.38 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,746 yards, 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His average passer rating per game was 119.1. In a playoff loss to the Packers he went 29 of 46 for 329 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions.
It seems to be a large enough sample size even if there is an argument for McCloughan to pump the breaks altogether and let Cousins play out the season for $19,953,000. This was by far the most complete and distraction-free evaluation Cousins received in Washington, and it just so happened to come at a time when his contract was expiring -- and at a time when he propelled the Redskins into the playoffs.
Cousins can't be disappointed either way, but after seeing the way some franchise tag negotiations have crashed and burned it has to be encouraging to hear your general manager talking about the contract like it's almost a done deal.
"The whole thing, I mean, it's a big contract," McCloughan said. "It's negotiation. It's back and forth. But we're in contact (and) we would love to get something done prior to (July 15, when franchise tag recipients can no longer negotiate with teams)."