Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Washington could place franchise tag on Kirk Cousins to trade him

Cousins will inspire a bidding war next month Cousins will inspire a bidding war next month
Cassandra Gardner | 05 February, 2018, 06:08

ESPN reported Sunday that the Redskins are discussing using the franchise tag to retain Cousins for the goal of seeking a trade to recoup assets after agreeing to a deal earlier this week to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tagging Cousins would prevent him from signing where he pleases once the new NFL league year begins on March 14th, because he wouldn't become a true unrestricted free agent.

Cousins could also agree to the franchise tag, but then make it very hard for another team to trade for him - either by making exorbitant extensions demands or flat-out saying he won't play there beyond 2018. A successful draft and signing Kirk Cousins to be the franchise quarterback could have the Browns contending for a playoff spot sooner than some would expect.

Cousins has some say here, though, as he could avoid signing his franchise tag for a long period of time, which would force the Redskins to count his $34.5 million against their salary cap.

Cousins, likely to be on his way out of Washington this offseason after the Redskins acquired Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, starred in a local Washington D.C.ad for Cyprus Air Heating, Cooling and Fireplaces with a President Donald Trump impersonator. Schefter reports that instead of just taking the 2019 compensatory pick they would get if Cousins left in free agency, the Redskins might try to flip the Pro Bowler for a 2018 pick.

Cousins also could tell any of Washington's potential trade partners that he is unwilling to sign a long-term deal there, dampening that team's enthusiasm for surrendering a top draft pick for his services and holding up any potential trade.

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"In this league and my story, I've learned that curveballs come all the time", Cousins told SiriusXM NFL Radio at the Super Bowl this week. LIKE NFL by Chat Sports on Facebook to be notified when the NFL Daily goes live at 6 p.m. ET every day! The Redskins would also have more control over where Cousins ends up. However, nothing will be too important until the actual free agency period gets rolling in March. This means the Redskins are getting their quarterback of the future, as Smith has also signed an extension with the team.

Teams can begin designating players for the franchise tag February 20. The Redskins will give the Kansas City Chiefs a third-round pick and cornerback?

The Redskins can't trade Cousins either if he does not sign under the tag.

There are other factors at play in the Cousins sweepstakes.

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. He mentioned Jacksonville as an example; the Jaguars had not won more than five games since 2010 yet reached the AFC Championship Game this season. "As a result, we want to enjoy it, take full advantage, make sure to make the right decision".

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