In his second full year as a starter, Cousins threw for 4,917 yards — shattering the Redskins’ single-season record he’d established the year before — along with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, finishing with a 97.2 quarterback rating. His numbers suggest he’s a top-tier quarterback and experts are expecting a big payday for Cousins.
“After two straight seasons that rank him among the top quarterbacks in the NFL, it’s time to get serious about signing Cousins to a contract extension at the current market price for such a creature,” Washington Post columnist Tom Boswell wrote Monday. “That means an offer well over $100 million.”
Here’s a roundup of where Cousins falls on NFL analysts’ free agency lists:
Around The NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal has Cousins ranked third in his top 25, the only quarterback to make the list.
“In his ‘prove it’ season, Cousins proved he’s a midlevel starting quarterback,” he wrote. “That’s worth a lot in today’s NFL. The Redskins would likely use the franchise tag on Cousins for a second consecutive season if they can’t reach a long-term deal.”
Cousins is the top ranked free agent in Nate Bouda’s list of 100 players. The second quarterback on the list is Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon who is a backup to former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston.
Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports ranks Cousins as the No. 2 free agent of 2017. Cousins is one of two Redskins players on the list, with wide receiver DeSean Jackson landing at No. 15.
“Cousins is in an interesting situation because his numbers suggest he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but they’re a bit inflated thanks to Washington’s offense,” DaSilva wrote. “However, the Redskins will have no choice but to give Cousins a long-term deal — likely one that will make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Yes, seriously.”
ESPN analyst John Clayton notes that while the 2017 free agent class is weaker than recent years, there is still “plenty of talent at the top.”
One of those players Clayton lists is Cousins, who falls at No. 5.
“The Redskins might hesitate to pay Cousins $24 million per year on a long-term deal, but they simply can’t let him hit the open market,” Clayton wrote. “At the least, he will be franchised.”