- - Tuesday, July 18, 2017


They called Bruce Allen the “Prince of Darkness” when he ran the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and this week he pulled out his poison pen to remind everyone why.

In a statement written in Kirk Cousins‘ blood, the Prince of Darkness exiled the team’s starting quarterback with a scarlet “G” for greed on his Washington Redskins helmet.

“After discussions with Kirk face to face over the weekend, I want to clarify our negotiations for this year,” the Redskins team president wrote in a statement following the passing of the deadline to either sign Cousins to a long-term contract or pay him $24 million under the franchise tag. “Kirk is obviously important to our team and fans, and they deserve to know where things stand.”

This is interesting — what the Prince of Darkness has determined the fans deserve to know. When this genius came up with a scheme to get the team out from under the Albert Haynesworth contract, it resulted in a $36 million salary cap penalty coming days after the Prince of Darkness had mortgaged the team’s future by trading three first round and a second round draft picks for the rights to draft Robert Griffin III in 2012.

The franchise still hasn’t recovered from that Allen debacle — a fireable offense — and he has never revealed the details about how the team tried to engineer that move. I guess fans didn’t deserve to know.

But they deserve to know about their greedy quarterback, and the benevolent front office that tried to do the right thing.

“Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins,” the Prince of Darkness wrote. “On May 2, right after the draft, we made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million) and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury. The deal would have made him at least the second highest paid player by average per year in NFL history. But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year.

Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on our year to year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long term contract before this season, we accept his decision. We both share high hopes for this season and we are looking forward to training camp starting next week. And we remain hopeful that a long-term contract will be signed in the future.”

The truth is that the Redskins offer actually didn’t guarantee anything beyond the $24 million the team has to pay Cousins this year under the franchise tag — a tag that was the team’s decision — and an anticipated $28 million next season if Washington places the transition tag on Cousins. After that, there were only injury guarantees, and in actuality his salary would go down every year of the five-year deal.

To borrow a phrase from the Prince of Darkness — for Cousins to pass on the Redskins offer was a “no-brainer.”

Remember that? The RGIII fifth-year contract option in 2015, which put the Redskins at risk for the $16 million he would have been paid the following season if he had been injured in 2015? The “no-brainer” meant the team carried a roster spot for the entire season for a player they never had any intention of using.

“We think Robert is a starting quarterback: We’ve seen him win; we’ve seen him win big games,” Allen told reporters. “We know his talent. It really was a no-brainer.”

The words “no brainer” have taken on a whole new meaning when it comes to Allen, who supposedly has a reputation as an NFL contract whiz.

Salary cap penalty. RG III option. And now two years of Cousins contract negotiation failures

Despite the Prince of Darkness’ statement, Cousins, appearing Tuesday on the “Grant and Danny Show” on 106.7 The Fan, said he was fine with it, and with the negotiations with the team

“I understand where (Allen) and the organization are coming from,” Cousins said. “I think in his position you have to do that, you have to be clear with where the offer was and the fact that they did their part and it was a great starting point. It was a great offer to get the ball rolling and to get the conversation going, and I think it was a fair offer. So I respect and appreciate Bruce’s approach. He communicated with me that they were going to need to let the story be known as to where they were coming from, and I said I totally understand that.

“So that’s why I say the communication was positive,” Cousins said. “We’re all on the same page. That [release] or that statement was no surprise to me. I knew something like that was going to be coming out and I understand where he’s coming from. So it doesn’t offend me, it doesn’t bother me. I can see myself in his shoes wanting to get the message out. So totally understand that and it doesn’t rub me the wrong way at all.”

Cousins might change his mind after he throws his first interception before the hometown fans at FedEx Field this season — or simply the first time he takes the field. He may have a different opinion about the Prince of Darkness’ statement that has likely fueled the growing resentment among Redskins fans toward their starting quarterback. He may not fully comprehend the scarlet “G” now on his helmet.

Cousins often speaks of his faith. He believes in light. There is no light, though, at Redskins Park.

Only darkness.

Thom Loverro hosts his weekly podcast “Cigars & Curveballs” Wednesdays available on iTunes, Google Play and the reVolver podcast network.

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