With the Alex Smith trade complete, it appeared the Redskins were going to allow Kirk Cousins to look for his lucrative deal in free agency. Now, they could have a change of heart.
Washington is considering placing the franchise tag on Cousins just so they could trade him, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. The reasoning behind this decision would be for the Redskins to get back what they dished out in the trade with the Chiefs. So, instead of getting nothing in return by allowing the hottest free-agent commodity to walk, Washington is looking for something in return.
However, if they do make that decision to tag him, it comes with a lot of risk considering Cousins is allowed to make his own decision. First, he can wait as long as he wants to sign the franchise tag, which would have the Redskins biting their fingernails as they watch the $34.5 million stay on their books.
Second, Cousins does have a say in who he wants to get traded to. He could tell Washington he doesn't want to go to a specific destination, which could mess up their plans as well. And third, if Washington puts the tag on Cousins and pulls it before the start of the season, they would lose a 2019 compensatory pick in the draft that they wouldn't risk if he were to just play the free agent market.
The Redskins can contemplate the risk as they await Feb. 20 -- the date teams are allowed to tag players.
The Jets are primed to go after a quarterback this offseason, and with a projected $100 million in cap space, they are front-runners for Cousins. If the Redskins do tag Cousins, though, the Jets would have to ponder giving up one of their draft picks in April to land their future quarterback.