What on earth is taking so long when it comes to Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins locking him up for the long term? Recently, senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams was asked by the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche if the organization wanted the five-year pro back for the long haul. The response was simply “in the worst way.” But the time for such a deal is running out quickly. The deadline for inking a designated “franchise player” to a long-term contract is July 15. That’s less than a month away. Cousins is under contract for 2017, having signed the $23.94 million franchise tender.

So what is the holdup?

Strong resume

A fourth-round pick in 2012 from Michigan State University, Cousins was thrust into the role of backup to the team’s first-round pick that year. As we know, Robert Griffin III went on to capture NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and the Washington Redskins won the NFC East. Fast forward to 2015, when Cousins was now the anointed starter. In his first full year on the job, he led the league in completion percentage (69.8), threw for 4,166 yards and 29 scores while being picked off just 11 times. But it was his play after a shaky start that helped propel the team to a 7-3 finish (after losing 4 of their first 6 games), a 9-7 record and a division title.

In those final 10 contests, Cousins threw 23 TD passes and was picked off only three times. In his first six outings, he threw for six scores and served up eight interceptions.

The clock is ticking

The fact that the Washington Redskins have let this come to this is quite bewildering. Has the talented quarterback not proven himself the past two seasons?

Look at his last 26 regular-season contests and Cousins has thrown more than three times as many touchdown passes (48) as interceptions (15) and helped lead the team to a 15-10-1 record over that span.

With team president Bruce Allen and his staff having to deal with the firing of general manager Scot McCloughan in March while trying to prepare for free agency and the NFL draft, the delay was expected.

Now that OTAs and minicamps are over, the franchise needs to get this done quickly. If Cousins plays another season on just the franchise tag, he will once again become a free agent next offseason. The Redskins could tag him for a third consecutive year but the cost would be exorbitant. It’s in everyone’s best interest that the two parties reach an agreement.

The 28-year-old quarterback is in his fourth year under head coach Jay Gruden. Yes, there’s been a change at offensive coordinator as Sean McVay moved on to become the sideline leader of the Los Angeles Rams. But the attack won’t miss a beat under former quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. It’s time to make a big-time commitment to this improving quarterback.