Source: Cousins open to deal after the season

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is not expected to sign a long-term deal by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline to sign franchise players to long-term contracts, but he is open to doing a deal with the team after this season, per a source familiar with the situation.

Washington still could make a last-minute push to try to get a deal done by the Monday deadline; however, Cousins fully intends to play this season under his franchise tag, worth $ 23.9 million in 2017.

There has been a positive, constructive tone to recent contract talks, per sources. However, Cousins prefers to wait to do a deal at this time, just as the Redskins preferred to wait to do a deal at this time last year.

It also means that Cousins will play this season, as he did last season, knowing that the better he plays, the more he will get paid after this season. But he also will become the first quarterback in NFL history to play two straight seasons under the franchise tag, giving him more leverage than any player has had in any recent year.

Washington still can use its franchise tag on him again next offseason for a third straight year, but it would cost the Redskins $ 34,478,784 to franchise him again. Under that scenario, Cousins would be unable to negotiate with any other teams.

Washington also could transition him for $ 28,732,320 million, but another team would have the ability to sign him to an offer sheet that Washington would then have seven days to match.

Meanwhile, no deals are close for Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, the other two franchised players who have yet to agree to long-term contracts.

Bell, 25, is the only player who has yet to sign his franchise tender or reach a long-term deal this season. As such, he didn’t participate in the Steelers’ mandatory minicamp, as he would have had to sign a waiver to do so. If he plays this season under the tag, he will be paid $ 12.1 million.

A source had told ESPN late last month that an agreement between Johnson and the Los Angeles Rams by the deadline would not happen.

Johnson, 27, signed his franchise tender with the Rams on March 6, guaranteeing himself a 2017 salary of $ 16.742 million, which will make him the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback.

The four other players who received the franchise tag this year have all agreed to long-term contracts. Linebacker Chandler Jones signed a five-year, $ 82.5 million ($ 53 million guaranteed) contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Defensive tackle Kawann Short signed a five-year, $ 80.5 million ($ 45 million guaranteed) deal with the Carolina Panthers. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul signed a four-year, $ 62 million ($ 40 million guaranteed) deal with the New York Giants. Defensive end Melvin Ingram signed a four-year, $ 66 million ($ 42 million guaranteed) contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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