Washington will consider placing franchise tag on Kirk Cousins

  • Washington will consider placing franchise tag on Kirk Cousins

Washington will consider placing franchise tag on Kirk Cousins

Except the Redskins, who clearly are ready to move on from Cousins as evidenced by a. their refusal to give him a long-term deal commensurate with his talents, and b. the decision to trade for Smith, may not be interested in a clean break.

Washington may attempt to restrict QB Kirk Cousins' ability to hit free agency. That begins on March 14. That would significantly reduce what the Redskins could get for him from that team. With Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum all headed for free agency, the NFC runner-ups will be aggressive in pursuing a quarterback this offseason. On this occasion, the possibility of a trade could result in a decent haul for the Redskins, instead of waiting for potential draft-pick compensation in 2019. However, I am not a fan of this move at all.

Without a franchise tag, Cousins is expected to draw interest from a number of teams - including several that are selecting in the top 15 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

If he signs off on the franchise tag, he's guaranteed $34.5 million in 2018, but loses another year in which he could sign a long-term contract. As soon as the team places the tag, that money goes against their cap.

So why would the Redskins still want to control Cousins' contract? Washington now has $49.666 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com's estimate. The Denver Broncos stand out as one that could draft a quarterback with a high pick in April, but still consider a significant one-year commitment to Cousins in win-now mode while their defense is still one of the best in the league. By default, the rule states that the Redskins would receive first rounders.

Sure, they could. They have two second-round picks this year (37th and 49th).

The transition tag is much like the non-exclusive franchise tag. There's a chance that Cousins could be the quarterback that's missing for each of those teams, putting them all on level footing.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely a tag-and-trade scenario will actually take place, but it is at least something Washington is considering, for what that is worth.

As former Eagles president and National Football League front office executive Joe Banner noted on Twitter, the only way a Cousins tag-and-trade happens is if Washington definitely knows it has a deal in place before placing the tag on Cousins.

Cousins said he did not speak to the Redskins until the morning after the trade. Cousins brings contract agreement back to Washington without signing an offer sheet. So maybe he wouldn't delay signing the tag's tender.