- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ASHBURN - The big news out of Redskins Park Tuesday involved changes to the team’s personnel department, but when it comes to the team’s most pressing personnel matter, things are chugging along as normal.

Doug Williams, the team’s new senior vice president of player personnel, said that chief contract negotiator Eric Schaffer, who was promoted to vice president of football operations Tuesday, will continue to be the point person on Kirk Cousins‘ contract negotiations.

“Well, it’s hard to say [I need] to be involved with Kirk Cousins because I haven’t been in this position,” Williams said “But we do have people who have been involved with Kirk Cousins for the last year or so, so we’re going to make sure to continue to do what they’re doing. It might be good also to not step in and let Eric Schaffer finish the job.”

The Redskins have just over a month, until July 15, to come to a long-term agreement with Cousins‘ camp. If they do not, Cousins will play under the franchise tag, earning $24 million and potentially the opportunity to leave as a free agent next season. The Redskins could tag him again for 2018 but it would come at a steep cost, making it in their best interest to reach a deal this offseason.

Cousins‘ situation is unusual because talented quarterbacks almost never hit free agency during their prime years, but Schaffer stopped short of saying it was unique in his experience.

Kirk is a really good player and he’s a Redskin and we only want him to be here. I would express that,” Schaffer said.

The expectation is that, should any deal happen, it will not happen before the deadline, despite an ESPN report from last week that quoted a source saying the tone of the negotiations had become more optimistic.

Redskins President Bruce Allen, who has said repeatedly he believes Washington can reach a long-term deal with the 28-year-old entering his third year as an NFL starter, said he wanted that to be the case.

“Well, we sure hope so,” Allen said Tuesday. “Right now after we finish this, we’re concerned about having a good practice today and the deadlines will take care of itself. I think we’ve been real clear over the year of what we think of Kirk and how we want him back.”

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