Bomani Jones still won't stop going after Kirk Cousins. This time the ESPN talker brought some help.
The Redskins giving their starting quarterback the non-exclusive franchise tag was a topic throughout the day on the various ESPN debate shows, including the entertaining "Highly Questionable" with Dan LeBatard and Jones. As you may recall, Jones became the world's biggest Cousins skeptic during the 2015 season, attacking the local media along the way. Yeah, that was a fun stretch of time and by fun, I mean like getting your driver's license renewed on the final day the Motor Vehicle Administration is open for the next three months.
Anyway, Cousins laughed last with a strong season, leading the Redskins to an NFC East title, the NFL in completion percentage and himself to a big payday.
Should he play on the Franchise tag in 2016 rather than a multiyear deal, Cousins will earn just shy of $20 million. That led to the show posing the question of "Do you think Kirk Cousins is happy that the Redskins franchised him?"
Jones answered first, starting with the basic terms of the franchise tag and noting both sides can now work on a long-term deal. Then he began working the No. 8 bag with an immediate flurry of furious jabs.
"How could you not be happy about $20 million dollars?" Jones stated. "Now I know he probably wanted himself a long-term deal, but who has cashed in quite like Kirk Cousins without actually playing that well?"
"The dirty secret of last year was he was bad the first half of the year statistically and better the second half of the year statistically," Jones continued. "But he was pretty much the same quarterback throughout the year, but he just turned it into $20 million dollars. You, sir, are the American dream."
Well, how about that.
Yes, statistically Cousins performed significantly better as the season progressed. From Week 7 on, 23 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, so we're cool there. As for whether Cousins was pretty much the same quarterback throughout the year, hmmm. Even if we ignore certain factors, like never working with the first-team offense during most of the offseason or playmaking receiver DeSean Jackson basically missing the first half of the season or that Redskins never had much of a run game, not sure how one suggests Cousins didn't improve.
Anyway, like a good heel wrestling team, LeBatard entered for some pile driving.
"Kirk Cousins keep in mind did not beat a winning team last year, had some passes that should have been intercepted that weren't intercepted," LeBatard said before coming up with a damning QB comparison.
"[Cousins] had a Nick Foles-y type of season and here you are making more money this year than Peyton Manning made last year."
Manning wasn't exactly a postseason juggernaut, but he gets credit as the quarterback for the Super Bowl winning Broncos.
"Kirk Cousins needs to be real happy with that," LeBatard continued, "and it's safe for the Washington racial slurs because they get to see if it was real for one more year at a price that's too much, but they don't have a choice because they don't have someone better to put there."
LeBatard is correct about the not-having-someone-better-part, though he doesnt extend the supply and demand metaphor across the league, a primary reason for the tag.
Jones tagged back in for final haymakers off the top rope, including one aimed seemingly more at the media and fan base.
"Now, let's be clear, I don't think [Cousins] was getting that $19 million on the open market," Jones said a few hours before Philadelphia re-signed the ineffective Sam Bradford to a reported two-year, $36 million deal with $22 million guaranteed. "But if they had let him walk away, they would have burned down everything but the Monument"
LeBatard's father, the third member of the show, then pretends to take a phone call and comically relays a bleeped out message to Jones.
"What have I told you many, many times before," Jones responded. "I could be a legend on the field. I'd rather be a legend at the bank. He's the latter."
No arguing that.
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