NEW 49ers NFL Draft Hats Available Now! →
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Writer ranks Kirk Cousins among the most overpaid NFL players

Jul 8, 2017 at 8:00 AM--

The 2017 salary cap hit for Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins ranks as the third-highest in the NFL at $23.94 million thanks to the exclusive franchise tag placed on him in February. NFL writer Steven Ruiz of USA TODAY's For the Win recently ranked Cousins among the most overpaid players in the game.

While this isn't exactly San Francisco 49ers related news yet, it could be in March of 2018 should Washington not come to a long-term contract agreement with Cousins by July 17th. That would schedule the quarterback to become a free agent next year and the talk all season would likely surround the possibility of Cousins joining his former offensive coordinator-turned-49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, in San Francisco.

If the 49ers were to target Cousins in free agency next year, as they would be expected to do and assuming he is available, they would likely have to pay a fair market value for the quarterback. That value was recently set when the Oakland Raiders gave Derek Carr a new five-year contract worth up to $125 million. That is now the number to beat for Washington and a number that will need to be eclipsed for the 49ers should Cousins hit the open market in 2018. The difference is Carr is 26 years old and Cousins will be 30 when the 2018 season kicks off.

Ruiz gave the following explanation for Cousins being listed as his eighth-most "tremendously overpaid" players:

"Washington did this to themselves. Instead of locking Cousins down to a deal more in line with his talent level years ago, they're now stuck slapping the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year. Cousins is a decent quarterback whose statistical production is more a product of what's around him than his own abilities. We saw the effects of his big price tag this offseason when the Redskins were forced to move on from DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon."

Now, as we all know, the quarterback market is unlike that for any other position. Teams often have to overpay to secure the most important player on any NFL roster – a starting quarterback. A good quarterback hitting the open market is rare so when one does, NFL teams will have to dig deep into their wallets to acquire them. The salary cap will increase as well, which increases the going rate for top tier free agents.

There are few elite veteran quarterbacks in the league like Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, and Drew Brees. They have all already proven themselves. Then you have young rising stars like Carr who could potentially head toward elite status sooner rather than later. Cousins being on the list begs the question: Does it make sense for the 49ers to make what Ruiz calls a "decent" quarterback the highest-paid NFL player in 2018 when he is considered overpaid in 2017?

While money should not be a problem for the 49ers, the incoming quarterback class in the 2018 NFL draft is considered to be among the strongest in years. Would it be smarter for the team to find its quarterback of the future there and spend money elsewhere on a roster that will still have holes or should it spend big on Cousins and address those holes with young talent in the draft?

It's an interesting debate that will be pointless should Cousins and Washington come to an agreement before July 17th. If they don't, you may want to prepare yourself for an entire season of "Cousins Watch" from the media.


  • How should the 49ers acquire their quarterback of the future?
  • Draft a QB in 2018
  • Spend big money on Kirk Cousins
  • QB of the future is on the roster
  • Sign or trade for a different QB
  • 805 votes


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Seven 49ers free agents still searching for an NFL team

By David Bonilla
Mar 20

The first week of NFL free agency is in the books, and there has been a lot of movement made by the San Francisco 49ers. The team added defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, quarterback Sam Darnold, and others to the roster. As is the case every year, departures are inevitable. Gone are some high-profile names like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Raiders) and tackle Mike McGlinchey (Broncos). Key players like cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (Lions) and offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill (Titans) have also found new NFL homes. San Francisco has tendered a one-year deal to exclusive-rights free agent wide receiver Jauan Jennings. In addition, the following eight 49ers restricted or unrestricted free agents have returned to the team. C Jake

NFL Draft: 49ers meeting with Wisconsin OL Tyler Beach

By David Bonilla
Mar 23

According to Rohan Chakravarthi, the San Francisco 49ers spoke with Wisconsin offensive lineman Tyler Beach on Thursday at the school's pro day. Area scout Ryan Kessenich plans to meet with the player after the event. Can confirm that G/T Tyler Beach has spoken with the #49ers.He's expected to meet with area scout Ryan Kessenich after today's Pro Day.#49wz— Rohan Chakravarthi (@RohanChakrav)

49ers met with Wisconsin S John Torchio, who may attend local pro day ahead of NFL Draft

By David Bonilla
Mar 23

According to Rohan Chakravarthi, the San Francisco 49ers spoke with Wisconsin safety John Torchio on Thursday at the school's pro day. The defensive back may attend the team's local pro day before the 2023 NFL Draft. Torchio (6-1, 208) registered 55 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack, six passes defensed, five interceptions, and two touchdowns through 13 game appearances as a senior in 2022, per Sports Reference. He recorded 97 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, seven passes defensed, nine interceptions, and two touchdowns through his four collegiate

49ers met with Utah OT Braeden Daniels at NFL Scouting Combine

By David Bonilla
Mar 24

According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the San Francisco 49ers were among the teams to meet with Utah offensive tackle Braeden Daniels at the NFL Scouting Combine. "[Utah]'s Braeden Daniels is one of the most versatile and experienced OL in the 2023 NFL Draft. There's so much interest in Daniels," wrote Melo. Daniels also met with the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, and Arizona Cardinals. [email protected]_Football's Braeden Daniels is one of the most versatile and experienced OL in the 2023 NFL Draft. There's so


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone