Kirk Cousins says he is likely to wait until March for any possible negotiations with the Washington Redskins [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-logan-thomas-jersey]Logan Thomas Jersey[/url] , indicating he would first make the team decide whether to apply a transition or franchise tag on him for the third year in a row.
Appearing at a fan forum aired live on 106.7 The Fan, the local radio station on which the quarterback makes weekly regular-season appearances, Cousins said Friday he believes the Redskins are ”all-in” on trying to sign him to a long-term contract.
”I see us taking our time. I see us waiting and being patient,” Cousins said.
”Let’s see what they do,” he added later during the nearly two-hour question-and-answer session. ”I don’t need to force anybody’s hand.”
He said his agent, Mike McCartney, counseled him to decline the team’s attempt to reach a lengthy deal late in the 2015 season, Cousins’ first as an NFL starter. Cousins also rejected the notion that there was any lingering hesitancy on the Redskins’ part about whether they wanted to try to keep him.
”I think they were all-in last summer,” Cousins said. ”I feel at peace about their belief in me and where they’re going forward from here.”
Washington went 9-7, 8-7-1 and 7-9 in Cousins’ three seasons as its starting QB after taking over for Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Cousins was picked in the fourth round that year out of Michigan State and began his pro career as a backup.
But under coach Jay Gruden, Cousins became the first Redskins quarterback to start all 16 games in each of three consecutive seasons. He topped 4,000 yards passing in each, while totaling 81 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.
After Cousins closed this season with a three-interception game in a loss to the New York Giants, Gruden offered a tepid assessment of the player earlier this week, saying: ”When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, `Wow, this guy really was outstanding.”’
Cousins didn’t hide Friday that he was bothered by that, questioning whether it is proper to imply that the team’s losing record and its ”quarterback play are causally related.”
The 29-year-old’s status is the biggest question hovering over Washington’s offseason. He has played each of the past two seasons on a franchise tag – the first QB ever to be assigned that label twice in a row – and earned nearly $44 million in the process. The Redskins were not allowed to negotiate with Cousins during the season [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-nathan-peterman-jersey]Nathan Peterman Jersey[/url] , but now that their games are done, they can make offers.
One option is an unprecedented third franchise tag, which locks him in at one more season with the club and comes at a prohibitive cost of about $34 million. Another option is a transition tag, which would be worth about $28 million, but would let Cousins entertain offers from other teams, while giving Washington the right to match.
If he is tagged yet again, Cousins said he anticipates that he would sign it right away, the way he did each of the past two years.
The sides also could try to reach an agreement for multiple years.
”There’s a part of me that would like to get settled,” Cousins said, adding later: ”You can only go year-to-year for so long.”
Rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta seems to make history every time he steps on the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers barely weeks into his major league career.
Fittingly enough, too, since he’s about to face a Cincinnati Reds pitching staff — mainly, reliever Michael Lorenzen — that is doing some pretty historic things themselves. Only with their bats and not their arms.
The 22-year-old Peralta is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his first four major league starts, including two in which he has struck out 10 or more and allowed only one hit. He’s the first pitcher in baseball’s live-ball ERA to do that, and the first Brewers pitcher to have two such games in a career.
How good has Peralta been? He has permitted more than two hits in only one of the four starts. In 22 2/3 innings, he has allowed only seven hits and struck out 35.
Peralta is the first major league pitcher since at least 1908 to give up three hits or fewer and strike out at least five in each of his first four career games.
“His stuff looks electric from center field, and you can see that in the swings and takes and called strikeouts,” Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich told reporters after Peralta pitched seven shutout innings of one-hit ball to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday. “He’s been great every time he goes out there, and hopefully that continues.”
Peralta is doing it without an overpowering fastball, like so many other young pitchers are today. He’s throwing his four-seam fastball at an average velocity of 91.2 mph [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-dion-dawkins-jersey]Dion Dawkins Jersey[/url] , or about what an average starter threw 15 years or so ago.
“He’s got a high spin rate and the ball just kind of jumps at you, even though it’s 92 mph,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
If the last-place Reds can get to Peralta on Sunday at Great American Ball Park — and no team has yet — they would split a four-game series in which they lost the first two games.
Cincinnati bounced back from a 3-2 deficit Saturday with an eight-run seventh inning powered by a pinch-grand slam from Lorenzen off a Jacobs Barnes fastball and went on to win 12-3 for its 10th victory in 13 games.
“Michael Lorenzen was pretty special,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
Pinch-hit grand slams are rare enough. But by a pitcher?
What’s even more remarkable is Lorenzen also homered Friday night during an 8-2 Brewers victory, and he homered in his previous at-bat before that while pinch hitting against the Chicago Cubs on June 24.
“I love playing baseball,” Lorenzen said. “Every day, I look forward to contributing in some form.”
That’s three homers in the last three at-bats for Lorenzen, who’s quickly becoming the National League’s bullpen equivalent of the Angels’ multi-dimensional Shohei Ohtani.
Lorenzen is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 games, and he’s 4-for-6 at the plate. He’s the first pitcher with multiple pinch homers in a season since Brooks Kieschnick in 2003 — and he has done it in only a week.
“The guy’s swinging the bat really well, that’s for sure,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We treat him as a position player. Obviously, we’ve got to make some adjustments … he’s swinging it well.”
Then there’s this: No Reds pitcher had hit a grand slam in 59 years, or since Bob Purkey in 1959, until starter Anthony DeScalfani did it June 23 against the Cubs. Now, Reds pitchers have hit grand slams twice in eight days.
Lorenzen’s homer was more than enough for the Reds to overcome Eric Thames‘ 14th home run against them in the two seasons and his fourth this season — the first three of which were game-winners.
Only two of the Reds’ 15 hits Saturday were for extra bases — Lorenzen’s homer and a Scooter Gennett double — but they were 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Peralta will go up against veteran right-hander Matt Harvey (3-5), who has recently given the Reds a glimpse of his former dominating self with the New York Mets. He has won each of his last two starts, giving up three runs in 12 2/3 innings, after going 0-3 in his previous four starts.