When news broke that the Redskins have agreed to trade for Alex Smith, many people figured Kirk Cousins would finally become a free agent and get that long term contract he has desired but the Redskins have something else in mind.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Redskins will consider placing their franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins so they can’t rate him and recoup some of the compensation they are sending to Kansas City for quarterback Alex Smith:
Kirk Cousins might not be so free after all…
Washington is considering placing franchise tag on Cousins to be able to trade him, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/keNB2pGApD
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 4, 2018
Placing the franchise tag on Cousins would prevent him rom being a real unrestricted free agent and having the ability to sign where he wants to when the new league opens on March 14.
Under the franchise tag, it could impact how other teams approach the situation and limit Cousins’ options. Without the franchise tag, Cousins would be able to max out his value and draw interest from Arizona, Denver, the New York Jets and other quarterback-needy teams.
The franchise tag would cost the Redskins approximately $34.5 million against their salary cap so if Washington decided to pull the franchise tag to get Cousins’ contract off its salary cap, it would lose the right to recoup a 2019 compensatory draft pick that it would get if Cousins were able to leave right away as a free agent.
Either way, the best case scenario is for Washington to let Cousins go and move forward with Alex Smith.