There’s been a lot of talk about how the Washington Redskins could potentially use the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins as a means to trade him, rather than let him hit the open market this March.
This, despite the fact that Washington has a deal in place with the Kansas City Chiefs to trade for Alex Smith, which becomes official when the new league year kicks in.
Well now we’re hearing, via Albert Breer of The MMQB, that Cousins has a backup plan in place should Washington attempt this maneuver.
“…if the Redskins attempt to franchise Cousins, my understanding is that his camp will quickly file a grievance to block tag, based on Washington violating the spirit of the rules, which dictate that players are tagged as a mechanism for teams to buy time in getting a long-term deal done.”
For what it’s worth, Cousins is going about his business of late in a manner that suggests he assumes he’ll be a free agent in March. And if that does happen, we already know he’ll have some high-profile suitors angling for his services.
Washington would be playing with fire in a big way if it does attempt to sign-and-trade Cousins. Not only could the franchise be dealing with a grievance filed by Cousins’ camp, but there’s always the chance Smith could work to back out of the trade before it becomes official.
But we never accused Washington of being particularly smart when it comes to personnel moves. So this could go either way.