Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins had barely finished the 2017 season when he already was facing breathless questions about where he’ll be in 2018.
“I understand the questions, but I’m not in position right now to even give you an answer,” Cousins told reporters Sunday (via the New York Post), immediately after Washington’s 18-10 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium. “I need to catch my breath.”
The rumor mill needs stoking to stay hot — especially in places where fans aren’t warmed by playoff football. The Broncos, Jets and Cardinals all have been mentioned as possible destinations for Cousins, and staying put in Washington could be an (expensive) option, too.
The AFC South champion Jaguars are the only playoff-bound team among those most frequently mentioned in connection with Cousins, 29. And all of them will just have to wait.
“We’ll have plenty of time,” Cousins said. “The league’s set up in a way that we have a lot of time to make those decisions and I’ll use all the time that I can, be very thorough and diligent but I need to catch my breath.”
The Redskins, 7-9 in 2017, have franchise-tagged Cousins the past two seasons, putting $44 million in his bank account. A third straight franchise tag would put him in line for $34 million in 2018 if the sides can’t reach a long-term deal, which, obviously, thus far they’ve been unable to do.
That leaves coach Jay Gruden hanging — again.
“We have to have stability at that position somehow, some way,” Gruden said Sunday, adding that he’s hoping for a quick resolution.
Cousins says he’ll offer some insight as early as this week, when he’s scheduled to appear Friday at a charity event in Fairfax, Va., and do his regular guest spot on a D.C.-area radio show.
“We’ll have a conversation on Friday in Fairfax with a group of fans and the radio show and be able to communicate in depth, a little more time where my head’s at and kind of debrief from this season,” Cousins said, offering no hint at what he might say.
This much is clear: He won’t rush, but he is in a hurry to win.
“We have a lot of time in this offseason to talk through all that. … There’ll be a lot of weeks leading up to free agency that will allow for that,” he said. “But I think it’s all about winning. It’s all about winning and that’s certainly where everyone’s focus is, from the owner to the general manager to the head coach to the team to the fan base. We all just want to win.”