If the Redskins placed the tag on Cousins it would mean that they are on the hook or $34 million. If Washington just lets him go, they would probably get a third-round compensatory selection in the 2019 draft.
At this point, it's merely a consideration rather than a clear-cut decision to tag Cousins.
Teams can begin designating franchise players on February 20. On the one hand, Cousins could have some say in where he would be traded as he could simply refuse to sign a long-term contract with a team he is not interested in playing for.
"This only happens if Skins know 100 percent that they have a deal before putting tag on him", former National Football League executive Joe Banner tweeted.
So why would the Redskins still want to control Cousins' contract? However, working around a franchise tag might limit Washington's leverage.
NFL Network reported that Smith will sign a four-year extension worth $94 million with $71 million guaranteed, which essentially locks him in as the starter.
Making the rounds in the lead-up to the Super Bowl, Cousins said Friday he was surprised the Redskins traded for Smith.
When a player is given the franchise tag, teams have until July 16 to negotiate a long-term deal.
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. Meanwhile, the Redskins and other team work out a trade agreement.
How do you feel about the possibility of Kirk Cousins being tagged? He then signs the transition tag tender and the two teams complete the trade.
Drew Brees, another veteran who would draw top dollar on the free-agent market, has made it clear he intends to return to New Orleans, narrowing the Broncos' veteran targets even more.
The Redskins revealed what they wanted to do the next day by trading for Smith.
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