The drama surrounding quarterback Kirk Cousins continues to grow, first Colin Cowherd claimed the Broncos were close to a deal with Cousins and then Adam Schefter reported the Redskins may franchise tag him.
Until Cousins signs the tag, Washington would be on the hook for the amount of his tag, which, because he was tagged a year ago, would be approximately $34.5 million, or 120 percent of his 2017 salary. But the Washington Redskins don't like that idea.
Though the trade and new contract for Smith can not be finalized until March 14, the first day of the new league year, it means Kirk Cousins is headed for free agency.
The Redskins seem set on making it hard for Cousins, after kicking the can down the road with franchise tags in 2016 and 2017. The 29-year-old could also dissuade potential trading partners from dealing for him by telling them that he isn't willing to sign a longterm deal, which would put Washington between a rock and a hard place when trying to find a taker for him. If that went on for a while, teams that might have been interested in Cousins would most likely move on to other options, not wanting to wait for a player they aren't sure will ever be available.
"At the end of the day, I want to win", Cousins said Friday. He found out after just completing a workout in his Minneapolis hotel.
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has a decision to make.
"They couldn't afford to wait, and so they had to make a move", Cousins told ESPN. "I haven't had a chance to pick where I wanted to play since 2007 when I chose to go to Michigan State". He tweeted the tag was "negotiated into CBA for teams to have "intent" to sign players long term".
The player's union, according to former National Football League executive Andrew Brandt, could file a grievance against the Redskins if Cousins is tagged.
The Redskins, though, would be eligible for some compensation for Cousins in free agency. The comp could come by way of trade or if they use the non-exclusive tag, they could receive draft picks.