- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2017

Kirk Cousins said in January he wouldn’t take a hometown discount from the Redskins because he doesn’t want to dampen the market for future NFL quarterbacks.

But that market has shown little indication this offseason of slowing down — especially if Derek Carr gets the $25 million a year deal he’s reportedly seeking from the Raiders.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Friday that contract negotiations for Carr and Cousins, each of whom is seeking a long-term deal, are likely connected.  

But any potential Carr deal could depend on whether the Redskins and Cousins reach a deal before the franchise tag deadline of July 15. If Cousins plays in 2017 under the franchise tag, he will make nearly $24 million.

Carr is entering the last season of his contract with a cap hit of just $1.7 million, and the Raiders want to lock up their quarterback of the future.

“What if he waits until July 15?” Rapoport said. “Maybe then, Kirk Cousins gets a deal with the Redskins. Does he reset the market, causing Carr and the Raiders to start over?” 

If Carr and the Raiders reach a deal before then, Carr’s contract could also directly impact Cousins’ negotiation with the Redskins.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last week the talks between Cousins and the Redskins have been “much more positive” recently, but as CSN’s JP Finlay pointed out, Carr getting $25 million would create a baseline for the Redskins to pay their QB. 

Finlay writes:

In turn, if Carr gets to $25 million per year in a new contract, combined with the fact that Cousins is already due $24 million this season from Washington, the simple truth is the Redskins are going to have to pay way up to keep their QB. 

If the Redskins are serious about keeping Cousins’ long term, the odds are they were going to have to commit serious cash, anyway.

But Carr’s negotiation with the Raiders creates an odd wrinkle that surely all parties involved are watching. Meanwhile, Carr’s camp is probably monitoring any Cousins’ deal as well. 

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