Redskins take into consideration tagging Cousins

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

But if things got hard with Cousins, could Washington rescind the franchise tag and just let him hit free agency? Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer agrees that Minnesota would be a "prime location" for the impending free agent. Also for Washington, their time with Kirk Cousins is now up.

Cousins won't become a free agent officially until March 14 and until then, Washington has some wiggle room to try and hold leverage over Cousins' situation.

If Washington does place the franchise tag on Cousins, his salary would be approximately $34.5 million for 2018 according to Schefter, and making a trade work could come with some complications. 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.

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But Cousins could also undercut any return by telling teams that express interest in trading for him that he would not sign a long-term contract in 2018.

However, tagging Cousins would add further complications, since Washington could not trade him until he signs the franchise tag.

Last week, the Redskins agreed to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller.

This free agency class is loaded, with the biggest name surely being Bell in the backfield. Teams can begin designating franchise players on February 20.

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The Jets are looking to target quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins also told NFL Live that he spoke to several members of the organization the following day, including owner Dan Snyder and coach Jay Gruden. The fourth-round pick from Michigan State was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in each of his three seasons as the starter in Washington.

First, and perhaps foremost, the Browns have about $112 million in cap space this offseason, which is good for second most to spend in the National Football League (behind the San Francisco 49ers, who are thought to throw a lot at mid- season acquisition Jimmy Garoppolo).

Of course, Cousins will still have some degree of leverage if the team keeps him from becoming a free agent. There's a chance that Cousins could be the quarterback that's missing for each of those teams, putting them all on level footing.

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Cousins will likely reset the market at the position whenever he finally gets the deal he's been yearning for.

  • Jill Young