In less than two months, the 2017 NFL season gets underway when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. Before that, the #Washington Redskins will be one of 32 teams to hold training camp.

The franchise opens on July 26. But nine days prior to that is perhaps a more crucial date. For teams like the Redskins that designated a franchise player this offseason, it’s the deadline to get them signed to a long-term contract.

Quarterback #Kirk Cousins signed the team’s tender months ago. But are the Pro Bowl passer and the Daniel Snyder’s organization finally ready to make a major commitment? And given the standout play of Cousins, why isn’t this deal done?

Proof is in the pudding

No matter how you break down the numbers these past two seasons, be it year-by-year or cumulative, all point to Cousins being highly productive and more than efficient as the starting quarterback for Jay Gruden’s Washington Redskins.

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He’s made 32 regular-season starts and hit on a combined 68.3 percent of his throws. It adds up to 9,083 yards through the air and 54 touchdown passes compared to 23 interceptions. The former Michigan State star has also run for 144 yards and nine scores over that span.

This past season, the Redskins finished third in the NFL in total offense. And only the New Orleans Saints gained more yards through the air. As we know, Cousins is already under contract for the 2017 and has a few new veteran wide receivers to work with in Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland Browns) and Brian Quick (Los Angeles Rams). And the highly-accurate quarterback could be even more successful this year if the team’s ground attack can find itself.

Making perfect sense

Seth Walder of ESPN Analytics penned a piece in late June titled: “Numbers prove Kirk Cousins’ value, even if Redskins don't see it”.

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It delves deep into the quarterback’s performance over these past two seasons. It’s hard to argue the statistics and more importantly his total impact on the team. He’s forged a 17-14-1 record as a starter since 2015.

The Washington Redskins are coming off consecutive winning campaigns for the first time since 1996 and ’97. A late-season turnaround by the five-year pro led to a division title in 2015. And he’s done all this despite a lack of support from the other side of the football. The team has finished 28th in the NFL in total defense two straight years. It’s hard to imagine what more Kirk Cousins could do for this franchise. #Long Term