With the clock ticking down to the deadline to lock in quarterback Kirk Cousins to a new contract, the Washington Redskins are reportedly getting things back on the right track after an offseason of some turmoil and frustration. While the negotiations will continue to be ongoing, don’t expect head coach Jay Gruden to get caught in the middle.
Gruden was asked for his reaction to a report surfacing from ESPN about the latest in the Kirk Cousins contract situation, but the head coach did not bite with any substantial comment.
“I was just alerted of the report. I don’t have a reaction,” Gruden said, according to The Washington Post. “I’m not in the negotiations, unfortunately. But, no, I’ll let everybody handle that. I think Bruce [Allen] and Eric Schaffer will do a fine job. Obviously, Kirk’s agent will do his work. Hopefully something gets done.”
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Wednesday morning that contract talks between Cousins and the Redskins were heading in a positive direction. The reason for the optimism appears to be the recent involvement of owner Dan Snyder, who wants Cousins to remain the quarterback of the team.
“There’s no doubt it’s been more positive lately,” one anonymous source told Schefter. “Everything has been much more positive in the past several months.”
Gruden has done his best to stay out of the offseason contract madness with Cousins. From his point of view, Gruden has simply been focused on the idea that Cousins was going to be on the team in the fall and has moved forward with that part of the plan in motion regardless of what happened with the contract.
“My approach really is just going to be, I’m not going to be concerned about it, really,” Gruden said in March, according to The Washington Times. “I know he’s going to be here this season, that’s all I care about, and whatever happens happens with his agent and our organization.”
If the Redskins can’t reach a new deal with Cousins, the option of a franchise tag remains an option as well. Unless the team trades Cousins, an option that would have been more likely prior to the NFL Draft, Cousins is going to be a Redskin in 2017, and that’s all that matters for Gruden.