- The Washington Times - Monday, November 27, 2017

ASHBURN — If Kirk Cousins signs a multiyear contract this summer, the deal will likely put the Washington Redskins quarterback into his 30s as one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

Already 29, how much longer does Cousins want to keep playing? Would Cousins‘ next contract potentially be his last?

While Cousins didn’t specify how much longer he wants to keep playing, the quarterback said Sunday he wants to go out on “his terms.”

“It’s a dream of mine to be able to leave this game on my terms where I could still do it, but I said, ‘No, I’m good,’ ” Cousins said. “And that goes back to taking care of yourself, eating right. That’s why I invested in a hyperbaric chamber. That’s why I have a lot of people praying for me.

“You want to have those things around you that give you a chance.”

Most quarterbacks — hell, most NFL players — don’t get that chance.

Even Peyton Manning, who retired after winning Super Bowl 50, reached the end of road at age 40. The 2015 season was by far the worst of his career performance-wise and he had no choice but to retire. Winning a Super Bowl in the process helped smooth his transition.

But Manning played until he was 40 and is considered as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Manning also extended his playing days with rigorous training to keep himself in the best shape possible. Most elite quarterbacks have done the same — and Cousins has noticed.

“There’s no doubt that other than Peyton Manning, the best quarterbacks in this league, the most established ones in this league when I entered the league in 2012 are still here,” Cousins said. “Nothing’s changed in six seasons. I find that interesting they haven’t really made room for anybody else to come in because they’re all still there in the same roles they were back in 2012.

“They’ve set the bar really high, and I hope the next wave of young quarterbacks, guys that are my age in their 20s, can hopefully repeat the process in the next wave of guys and that we can still be there for a long time.”

Cousins said he would “do everything in my power” to play as long as he wants.

“I would just hate to be told that I can no longer play if I want to,” he said.

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