Washington will consider using franchise tag on Cousins despite Alex Smith trade

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has said that he wants to go to a team that can win. Would he view the Browns as having that potential

However, there are rumblings that the Redskins could still place the franchise tag on Cousins, doing so for the third consecutive year. Teams can start handing out franchise tags on February 20.

During his interviews on Radio Row on Monday, Cousins repeated much of what he said at his end-of-season event with 106.7 The Fan last month about winning being more important than money and the ball being in the Redskins' court.

Washington stunned many when on Tuesday it traded away cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick to the Chiefs for Smith, who the team plans to give a four-year extension that will reportedly have an average pay of $23.5 million annually.

If Cousins is tagged, his $34.5 million salary would count toward the Redskins' salary cap. The 29-year-old could also tell interested teams that he wouldn't sign a long-term deal there. "I expect to be a free agent come March 14".




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.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Redskins are weighing the possibility of using their franchise tag on Cousins, a move that could lead to the two sides getting stuck in what Schefter described as "an offseason game of chicken". A talented roster with three possibly zero quarterbacks entering 2018 seems like a great fit for Cousins. This would allow the Redskins to receive compensation for Cousins.

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. Should the Redskins simply let Cousins walk, he would immediately become the most valuable free agent on the market, with quarterback-hungry teams such as the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals - among a few others - competing for his services. "They couldn't afford to wait, and so they had to make a move".

Tagging Cousins would also forfeit the chances of receiving a compensation selection in next year's National Football League draft. So maybe he wouldn't delay signing the tag's tender.

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