February 21, 2018

Washington may try to trade Cousins

06 February 2018, 02:19 | Marlene Fleming

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But the Washington Redskins don't like that idea.

If the Redskins tag Cousins, they would be offering him a one-year, $34.5 million contract. If he wants to, Cousins can balk at signing off on the franchise tag designation.

We even get to address the QB controversy brought about by the Alex Smith trade, with Fake Trump labeling him "Sneaky Alex". Therefore, they're more likely to seriously pursue the next tier of quarterbacks, including Cincinnati's AJ McCarron, whoever shakes out from the Vikings, and other potential free agents.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that acquiring Cousins' services might be more complicated than that.

If Cousins is tagged, his $34.5 million salary would count toward the Redskins' salary cap.

As former Eagles president and National Football League front office executive Joe Banner noted on Twitter, the only way a Cousins tag-and-trade happens is if Washington definitely knows it has a deal in place before placing the tag on Cousins. "The risk of getting stuck is far too high". If he doesn't sign a franchise tender or holds out from signing one, then his value drops because of the decision of signing long term isn't there.

So it would be a silly, risky move for the Redskins. Turning down a one-year deal worth over $34 million in fully guaranteed money would be hard, but a multi-year deal with another team would surely have more guaranteed money than that and also bring some stability.

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One of those dates is February 20, which is when teams can start using the franchise tag.

When a player is given the franchise tag, teams have until July 16 to negotiate a long-term deal.

The downside for Cousins is that he could end up stuck in limbo.

Of course, team president Bruce Allen is also the same man that called Kirk Cousins "Kurt" Cousins last summer while explaining the team's lowball contract offer. He found out after just completing a workout in his Minneapolis hotel.

Cousins said he did hear this week from coach Jay Gruden about the Redskins' approach to the Smith trade. Dan Snyder will have a tough choice to make if they go this route.

Cousins previously told the Redskins he did not have any intention of negotiating a new contract until March. "They couldn't afford to wait, and so they had to make a move. I haven't had a chance to pick where I wanted to play since 2007 when I chose to go to Michigan State". With a lot of money to spend in free agency, all eyes are on what general manager Mike Maccagnan decides to do at quarterback. Yes, but in that case, Washington would not get the 2019 third-round compensatory pick that it would receive if Cousins leaves in free agency in the traditional way.

But compensatory picks are determined by the National Football League management council and there is no guarantee that Cousins signing with a different team would net a third-rounder, especially if the Redskins sign other free agents.

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