‘Whatever happens, happens’: Jay Gruden feels the future is now with Kirk Cousins, Redskins

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins are like two high school sweethearts unwilling to depart from one another.

For the second straight year, Washington slapped the franchise tag on Cousins this offseason. And for the second straight year, it appears a major long-term contract between the two sides will come down to the July 15 deadline.

While neither camp seems overly eager to commit to one another long term, they don’t seem comfortable moving on, either.

Facing right-hander Evan Marshall, he ambushed a belt-high, first-pitch fastball, sending a low line drive just over the wall in right field for a solo homer. The crowd of 27,147, which was already standing and applauding in his final at-bat, roared in amazement and approval as the ball cleared the fence. If only for a moment, they were transported back to a time when every one of his at-bats brought a buzz to the city. Chants of I-CHI-RO! filled the park like in years past. He saluted the cheering fans after crossing home plate, removing his helmet and giving a slight bow.

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who congratulated Ichiro as he rounded the bases, said (via ESPN.com): “You don’t want to see your opponent hit a home run, but at that moment, that was pretty special. I had chills for him.”

And Ichiro was happy to give Seattle fans one last thrill. “This,” he said, “is home.”

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