Redskins could franchise tag Kirk Cousins to trade him

Monday, 05 Feb, 2018

The Redskins are thinking about placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins so they can trade him in hopes of getting back some of what they traded away to get Alex Smith, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

As Schefter notes, tagging Cousins for a third time would drastically impact other teams' draft and free agency strategies, and it would prevent the signal caller from choosing where he plays for the next four to five years. He would be the top free agent on the market, with several motivated suitors, and could sign the richest contract in National Football League history. Cousins would be allowed to seek offers from other teams.

"In this league and my story, I've learned that curveballs come all the time", Cousins told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I was talking with Coach (Charlie) Weis earlier and he made it clear, 'Hey, go where you can win.' That's exactly what the plan is".

As if they haven't mishandled him enough, Washington may try to further restrict quarterback Kirk Cousins' ability to sign elsewhere.

The one tangible thing the Browns can offer Cousins that no one else can is the most money, thanks to the more than $100 million in available cap space that general manager John Dorsey inherited when he took the job in December. But Weis urged him to find the best opportunity, whether it includes the highest payday or not.

"He's a good player".

"I had no idea what was going to happen", Cousins told NFL Live. Cousins reportedly has a desire to "win right away", another factor that would make the NFC runners-up an appealing destination. If, the Redskins do not match they also do not get any compensation for this tag.

What's more, several teams are expected to go hard after Cousins, including the Broncos and Jets.

"I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open to anything and open", Cousins said Friday. "I'm in the information-gathering stage at this point". Washington was going to be a laughingstock when they lose Cousins for nothing after paying him $43 million the last two years. And while Hunt and others on the team are sad to see their leader leave, they feel confident in Mahomes and his ability to pick up where Smith left off.

From Cousins' perspective, he perhaps would not want to turn this into a drawn-out process, because that might mean missing spring practices (which are valuable for an incoming quarterback) with his new team. "So a lot can change year to year". If Cousins wants to screw over the franchise, he could sit on this for as long as possible. The Jets got No. 49 in the Sheldon Richardson-Jermaine Kearse trade past year.

"I'd be great with it, " he said. I don't know if they have the cap space.

In addition to the difference in opinion shared by Smith and the Browns about where the quarterback was at this point of his career, Cleveland didn't have a player to trade on the same level of corner Kendall Fuller.