- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS — According to Jay Gruden, the Redskins have a good chance of keeping Kirk Cousins around long-term.

“We’d like to keep Kirk here obviously and we think he’s going to be our quarterback for a long time,” Gruden said Wednesday morning, meeting with local reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. “And to have that opportunity to negotiate with him and get a long-term deal is what we want to do.”

The Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins Tuesday, putting him in line for a $24 million payday in 2017 unless he and the team can come to a long-term deal before July 15.

Gruden seemed to acknowledge that the Redskins may have irked Cousins by low-balling him in contract talks before last season, when he also played under the tag. Should the 28-year-old quarterback reach free agency and test the market next season, the Redskins would be just one of 32 potential bidders, but Gruden said he felt the team could avoid that situation.

“Both parties have to come up with something,” Gruden said. “We can offer him the world, and if he doesn’t want to sign it, he doesn’t have to sign it and we have to do, maybe, a better job. I think it’ll happen. I really do. We’ll wait and see. I’m going to coach the players that are here, and I fully anticipate Kirk being the quarterback.”

Gruden said he’d rather have a deal done sooner, rather than later, so the Redskins can make decisions in free agency with Cousins‘ deal squared away.

“We’d love to have a long-term deal done, obviously, and hopefully that will happen here in the near future but we do like where he’s going with his game and we feel good about having him here as a Redskin for a long time,” Gruden said.

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