Washington could place franchise tag on Kirk Cousins to trade him

Jessica Allison
February 5, 2018

The Washington Redskins will consider placing their franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins so they can trade him and recoup some of the compensation they are sending to Kansas City for quarterback Alex Smith, per league sources.

Via ESPN's Adam Schefter, Washington is considering placing the franchise tag on Cousins once again, with the idea of trading him and getting something in return for the 29-year-old.

The soon-to-be free agent is poised to become the NFL's highest-paid player.

Washington stunned many when on Tuesday it traded away cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick to the Chiefs for Smith, who the team plans to give a four-year extension that will reportedly have an average pay of $23.5 million annually. Washington could not trade him until he signs the franchise tag, and if Cousins wanted, he could delay signing it for weeks or even months, with the Redskins having to count his approximate $34.5 million against their salary cap. Now, the team could ultimately remove the tag, but that means they would be unable to accrue a 2019 compensatory draft pick if Cousins signs elsewhere.

The team has been searching for a long-term solution at quarterback for years, and Cousins - in his prime - could solve that problem. But if Cousins doesn't want to play there, he could tell Washington and the new team that he isn't going to sign a long-term contract, which likely would sink the trade.

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Cousins did say earlier this week (via NFL.com) he does "expect to be a free agent", and he is projected as the top free-agent quarterback available. "But after that season we knew the franchise tag came into play and it certainly dictated this entire process".

This free agency class is loaded, with the biggest name surely being Bell in the backfield.

The Redskins will send a third-round pick in this year's National Football League draft and cornerback Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs for Smith.

Cousins has gone on the record as saying that money will not the sole determining factor, however, as after dealing with the Redskins he wants to join a stable franchise that can also win, which would take the Browns out of the running. I understood that. They wanted to do a deal, but because I wanted to go a little longer, it put them in a tough spot. There's a chance that Cousins could be the quarterback that's missing for each of those teams, putting them all on level footing.

Cousins may be interested in coming to a Cleveland team that is young and that has been stuck in a 20- some year rebuild. Cousins told USA Today he spoke to owner Dan Snyder and coach Jay Gruden, but not team president Bruce Allen.

Other reports by My Hot News

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