February 25, 2018

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NFL Minute: Kirk Cousins' free agency effects on Colts offseason

06 February 2018

When the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to trade Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins, teams like the Arizona Cardinals had to shift their plans for acquiring a starting quarterback.

The Redskins can't trade Cousins either if he does not sign under the tag. On Tuesday the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins reached an agreement for a trade involving Chiefs QB Alex Smith. More importantly, Cousins could effectively hold out by not signing the franchise tag, which would keep $34.5 million of cap space occupied, harming the Redskins' free agency flexibility. If he doesn't get the team or terms he wants, Cousins could delay things for months, significantly affecting Washington's salary cap.

Washington, meanwhile, faced the prospect of using a franchise tag on Cousins for a third time - to the tune of more than $34 million fully guaranteed for one year - re-sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market, where he could draw the biggest contract in National Football League history. 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.

The transition tag is much like the non-exclusive franchise tag.

But what about a possible tag-and-trade situation in which Washington could get more than a 2019 compensatory third-rounder for Cousins? Cousins told USA Today he spoke to owner Dan Snyder and coach Jay Gruden, but not team president Bruce Allen. "I haven't had a chance to pick where I wanted to play since 2007 when I chose to go to Michigan State". He then signs the transition tag tender and the two teams complete the trade.

How do you feel about the possibility of Kirk Cousins being tagged? The Vikings also have three quarterbacks - Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Case Keenum - all headed to free agency.

Washington has the clock starting on February 20th to decide if they want to take this into consideration or just take a loss and take their chances in the National Football League draft ot free agency. "But I do expect to be a free agent, but we'll see". But the decision is a gamble - and one that could easily backfire.

NFL Minute: Kirk Cousins' free agency effects on Colts offseason