Redskins consider tagging Kirk Cousins, report says

Arnold Nichols
February 5, 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 reports. Without the franchise tag Cousins would be the leagues top free agent. However, nothing will be too important until the actual free agency period gets rolling in March. Remember, franchise tags can't be placed on players until February 20, but the Smith trade can't be made official until the new league year begins March 14.

But what about a possible tag-and-trade situation in which Washington could get more than a 2019 compensatory third-rounder for Cousins?

Cousins, in turn, could delay signing the franchise tag, with the Redskins remaining on the hook for approximately $34.5 million against their salary cap. The 29-year-old could also tell interested teams that he wouldn't sign a long-term deal there. This will impact how other teams would approach the 2018 NFL Draft and free agency.

Although all signs point to Smith taking over as the starter for the Redskins, that might not stop the team from placing the franchise tag on Cousins for the third consecutive year, according to Schefter.

By now, we know that the Washington Redskins traded for QB Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs.

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.

Tagging Cousins also gives the Redskins some say on where he plays next season, particularly since there are several NFC teams - with the Cardinals near the top of the list - looking for stability at the quarterback position.

"I don't take it personal", Cousins said when asked what he thought about the team not contacting him until the next day. 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.

"The team's gotta do what's best for them", Cousins told TMZ Sports on Thursday at the EA Sports Madden Bowl.

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.

There are other factors at play in the Cousins sweepstakes. But if Cousins is valuing the chance to win as much as money, we have some clarity on what teams he'd prefer to sign with this summer.

This free agency class is loaded, with the biggest name surely being Bell in the backfield. The comp could come by way of trade or if they use the non-exclusive tag, they could receive draft picks.

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