Redskins Nation anticipating no deal for Kirk Cousins

Washington Redskins helmets on the sideline

Washington Redskins helmets on the sideline

The specific deadline for teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals is 4pm ET on Monday, and there are no indications either side will budge in its stance before that time. But Cousins remains open to a long-term deal after the season. But he also will become the first quarterback in National Football League history to play two straight seasons under the franchise tag, giving him more leverage than any player has had in any recent year. That might be a fall-back option if negotiations continue to break down, but it would be an unreasonable rate for the team to absorb, leaving less money to address other roster spots.

The 49ers' quarterback of the future literally won't be a 49er until the future, though the clock on that is about to really start ticking.

Bell, 25, is the only player who has yet to sign his franchise tender or reach a long-term deal this season. But if he stayed healthy and continued signing one-year deals, every penny would be guaranteed for Cousins. The Redskins are reportedly embroiled in an internal battle about just how much Cousins is worth.

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Former Redskins general manager Charlie Casserly believes by not signing a long term contract, Cousins remains in a position of power. Shanahan has been credited for grooming Kirk Cousins into an All-Pro caliber quarterback. If they can not, the negotiation window doesn't open again until after the coming season. Again, this should come with little shock to most fans.

Or more likely, Washington could use the transition tag, which would guarantee Cousins a 20-percent raise to $28.7 million and give Washington the right to match anybody else's offer. The clock is ticking for that negotiation, and if it expires without a new deal, Cousins and the 49ers will be the next ones on the clock for 2018.

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