Without a deal for 2017-18, Cousins will play under the franchise tag for $23.9 million. Last season under the tag, he was paid $19.9 million. It’s a sizable amount. After the season, the team and Cousins can negotiate again. But that will come with a major price for the Redskins. It would cost Washington $35 million.
The door would be open for other teams to perhaps strike a deal with Cousins especially if the Redskins used the transition tag, which would pay Cousins just $28.7 million. If that did occur, other teams could probably easily offer their QB a much more lucrative, multi-year deal.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert issued a statement saying, “Unfortunately, we were unable to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Le’Veon Bell prior to today’s deadline. Le’Veon is scheduled to play this year under the exclusive franchise tag designation. We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season.”
His pay this season under the franchise tag will be $12.1 million. Next season, Bell will be a free agent. That is unless the Steelers tag him as their franchise player. One important note regarding Bell, he has not yet signed his franchise offer. Until he does so, he is not obligated to be in training camp, which will commence July 27. He did undergo surgery during the off-season and appears to be ready to go.
Although Bell will be compensated well this season as a running back, one of his bargaining points is that he is a massive dual threat as both a runner and a receiver. He is one of the best dual threats in the NFL. In addition, he’s 25 years old and is at the top of his game.
Unable to do so, Los Angeles will end up paying him $16.7 million this season. In 2016, he was paid $13.9 million under the franchise tag. Both 2017 and 2018 are major paydays for a player whose team wants to move him.
Final Word: Three NFL Franchise Players
Each of the three NFL franchise players has very different situations. One problem that could plague each team is the discontent generated by the lack of a multi-year deal. Players can start to feel underappreciated and play can suffer. It’s too early to see if that will occur. If anything, Cousins, Bell, and Johnson should be in a good place next year to either negotiate or find another team.