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  • It’s not a matter of whether the Washington Redskins want to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins. It’s how much they want to pay to make it happen. That’s what the Redskins will spend the next month and a half deciding, as they’ve done the past two years. The problem is, the price tag -- like the salary cap -- has continued to rise. If the Redskins want to strike a long-term deal, they’ll likely have to top Matthew Stafford's contract with Detroit to do so. Stafford’s deal averages $27 million per year, and he received $92 million in guarantees. “We’ve seen teams make an irrational decision for lesser players,” said Joel Corry, a former sports agent who now writes for CBS Sports and is considered a salary-cap expert. Customized Hockey Jerseys “If you pay Mike Glennon $18.5 million and guarantee $37 million to Brock Osweiler ... then making Cousins the highest-paid player doesn’t seem like a stretch.” But therein lies the dilemma: If the Redskins pay Cousins, can they still build around him? After all, the 29-year-old is considered a good quarterback, but he's not Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Cousins isn't in the elite category. “It’s a no-brainer, mostly,” longtime Customized Basketball Jerseys NFL executive Joe Banner said of paying good quarterbacks. "We've seen so many teams that have a quarterback and then they don’t. Sometimes it takes as long as a decade to find the next guy. But there’s a point where the price becomes so high the ability to build a team around him is impacted. If you feel you’re getting a difference-making quarterback, any price is worth it. If it’s just a good quarterback, at some point you’re better off building the rest of the team.” As of now, the Redskins have approximately $57 million in cap space for 2018. Applying the franchise Customized Baseball Jerseys tag to Cousins a third time would cost them $34.5 million; a transition tag would cost $28.8 million. They have other key free agents they’d like to re-sign, notably linebacker Zach Brown (whose deal could top $10 million a year). As Corry said: “If you have [Cousins] on a tag, it limits what you can do. ... The best thing is to do a long-term deal where you can control the first-year cap number.” Next offseason, the Redskins will have to worry about re-signing linebacker Preston Smith and receiver Jamison Crowder (guard Brandon Scherff can be retained on a fifth-year option or he could be a free agent as well). The Redskins' fear is losing a handful of players they’d like to keep. The Redskins are well aware of what other teams -- such as Jacksonville and Minnesota -- have done. Both teams tried to invest in quarterbacks. The Jaguars selected Blake Bortles third overall in 2014. The Vikings not only selected Teddy Bridgewater in the first round in 2014, they traded a first- and fourth-round pick for Sam Bradford after Bridgewater’s injury in 2016. But both teams also built high-level defenses. Redskins coach Jay Gruden was on the staff in Tampa Bay when it won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson, who was at the end of his career, and had an outstanding defense. Washington won three Super Bowls under former coach Joe Gibbs with three different quarterbacks. But, Banner said, "Your chances of being really good and sustaining quality of play and having a real chance to win a Super Bowl is massively enhanced by having a really good quarterback. There are no absolutes. But one Customized Football Jerseys exception every eight to 12 years, if I’m building a team that’s not the strategy I’m chasing.” If the Redskins retain Cousins, they would be helped by the return of injured players such as defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, tight end Jordan Reed, left tackle Trent Williams and running back Chris Thompson. They own the 13th pick in the draft. Stafford signed his deal last offseason, and there are some with the Redskins who wonder how well the Lions can build around him. That sentiment is true, too, of Oakland and Derek Carr. Stafford, the highest-paid quarterback for now, Customized Basketball Jerseys will occupy $26.5 million of the cap, or 21.71 percent of the Lions' available room, in 2018. If the Redskins aren’t sold Cousins should be paid more -- whether on a long-term deal or one of the tags -- they can look for players in the mid-level pay range. Bradford would be a possibility, for example. Or they can draft a quarterback. Or do both. “It’s unique this year,” Banner said. “There are a couple of veteran quarterbacks out there other than [Cousins] who could be available, so there’s