The Washington Redskins are facing a deadline in two weeks. Between now and March 1, the team must decide whether it will place the franchise tag on Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins.
There’s a lot that goes into this decision. Does Washington want to guarantee Cousins north of $23 million for the 2017 season? Will it let the up-and-coming quarterback test the open market?
Indications are that Washington plans on handing Cousins the franchise tag. Though, there seems to be some push back from within the organization itself. Simply put, there’s some within the Redskins’ brass that don’t view Cousins as a long-term solution (more on that here).
If the Redskins were to somehow let Cousins test the open market, it now looks like he might be inclined to move on. In fact, one report suggests that former executives in D.C. believe that Cousins himself does not want to remain with the team over the long term.
For the past couple of years, former Redskins officials who know Cousins have said he really doesn't want to be in Ashburn. He wants tag.
— Jason Reid (@JReidESPN) February 16, 2017
This leads us to wonder what exactly is going to be the end result here. Are the Redskins willing to go with Cousins for one more season while understanding that he will move on following the 2017 campaign? If not, what are the alternatives in a free-agent market that doesn’t possess many starter-caliber quarterbacks?
There’s clear indications coming out of San Francisco that the 49ers and new head coach Kyle Shanahan might be interested in Cousins. That makes sense considering Shanahan himself helped oversee Cousins’ development early in the quarterback’s career as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator. Cousins himself has also praised the 49ers’ new brass (more on that here).
A scenario remains in play here that suggests San Francisco and Washington could work out a trade that would send Cousins to Northern California. The 49ers have both the cap room and the draft assets to make a potential deal work.
If Cousins isn’t committed to the Redskins long term, that might make the most sense for everyone involved.