Kirk Cousins, Redskins finally have some optimism over deal getting done

Perhaps, despite all of the Washington Redskins’ missteps in the Kirk Cousins contract story, it can end with Cousins living happily ever after in Washington.

For a while it seemed like there was no chance the two sides could figure out a long-term deal, which is why Cousins is on his second straight franchise tag. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter said there is finally some optimism and that talks are encouraging. An anonymous source told Schefter talks have “been much more positive in the past several months.”

Schefter said Redskins president Bruce Allen and Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney met face to face, their first face-to-face meeting since Cousins was given the franchise tag the first time last year. Also, he reported Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has personally gotten involved.

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That’s wonderful and all, but this will still be a complicated contract. Even with all the happy talk, Schefter acknowledged there’s no guarantee a long-term deal will get done by the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players though a contract “could be struck after next season.” So all the optimism basically boils down to maybe the Redskins getting a deal done with Cousins in eight or nine months. Maybe.

Yet, that’s progress in this mess.

Cousins has made so much money on franchise tags, and stands to make an estimated $34.47 million on a third franchise tag next offseason, that it’s hard to see what his motivation would be in getting a long-term deal done after the season if he plays well. If he doesn’t play well, maybe Washington starts to have second thoughts. If the July 15 deadline passes it’s going to get messy again, but at least with a friendlier tone!

It makes sense why Washington would want to get a deal done, and even makes some sense for Cousins although he’d have plenty of suitors on the open market, or make an obscene salary on the franchise tag again in 2018. If nothing gets done Cousins could be in an unprecedented spot, as a healthy, good quarterback in his prime hitting unrestricted free agency with his team having no solid backup plan in place. That has never happened in the NFL’s free agency era.

At least there’s now some good vibes coming out of Washington. Now all that’s left is getting a very complicated long-term deal done in about a month, or waiting until the offseason to start the dance again.

Kirk Cousins will play on the franchise tag for a second straight season. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!