RICHMOND, Va. — In case you were wondering, no, Kirk Cousins isn’t worried. About anything.
Having let the July 17 deadline pass without signing a long-term deal, Washington’s quarterback isn’t worried about what might happen. Not worried about a career-altering injury that scuttles his free-agent prospects. Not worried about having a down year. Not worried about the other big names that might join him on next spring’s free-agent quarterback market.
Cousins said his decision not to sign a long-term deal with Washington came down to one basic thing: He didn’t feel right about signing.
“I didn’t feel at peace with signing a long-term deal at this juncture,” Cousins said after the team’s morning walk-through at training camp here Sunday. “I think the freedom that it allows on the other side of this season makes more sense. In the league, there’s so much change, so much turnover year after year, I think it makes a lot of sense to re-evaluate where we’re at, where the league’s at at the end of this season.”
Assuming health and continued success, Cousins could find himself hitting the open market as a healthy franchise quarterback in his prime — something that hasn’t been seen in the salary-cap era. In a quarterback-starved league with many teams desperate for help at the position and former Washington offensive coordinators Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay now head coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, this could lead to a monster, market-altering deal. Cousins could set major benchmarks, possibly including an average salary in excess of $30 million per year and $70 million or more in guarantees. He has clearly thought about this.
“A lot of it goes back to, these contracts are not baseball contracts; they’re not basketball contracts,” Cousins said. “As a result, you’re not really signing a five-year deal, you’re not really signing a six-year deal. You’re signing a two-year deal, and then there is an obligation for several years after that. And that just didn’t sit well with me, and I’m better off, if those are my options, I’m better off signing a one-year deal and then having freedom.”
A lot of Cousins’ peaceful self-assurance comes from his religious faith. He quoted scripture twice during Sunday’s interview when talking about his life’s path so far and says his personal history has given him the confidence to believe things will work out if he makes decisions based on the feeling of peace they give him. He cited his college decision as an…