Redskins take into consideration tagging Cousins

4 free agents the Redskins should consider

In what could be a key development for teams in need of quarterbacks this season, the Washington Redskins are considering using their franchise tag on Kirk Cousins despite having acquired Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday. And it seemed the only avenue toward that goal was signing the free agent Cousins to, likely, the most pricey National Football League contract dolled out.

When the Redskins made a deal for Alex Smith last week, that effectively put an end to the Kirk Cousins era in Washington.

Tagging Cousins would prevent him from becoming a true unrestricted free agent, able to sign where he wants once the new league year opens March 14, and could impact how other teams approach free agency and the draft.

However, there are rumblings that the Redskins could still place the franchise tag on Cousins, doing so for the third consecutive year. The longer the tender remains unsigned, the more likely Washington would have to count the projected $34.447 million cap hit (a 44% raise from last season's cap hit) Cousins would cost on his third franchise tag. This means the Redskins are getting their quarterback of the future, as Smith has also signed an extension with the team. Without a franchise tag, Cousins would be considered the NFL's top available free agent, expected to draw interest from Arizona, Denver, the and other quarterback-needy teams.

Dorsey could still call the bluff and make the trade, hoping that one year with the Browns would be enough to persuade Cousins that the team is on the right track.

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Except the Redskins, who clearly are ready to move on from Cousins as evidenced by a. their refusal to give him a long-term deal commensurate with his talents, and b. the decision to trade for Smith, may not be interested in a clean break.

No matter what, just like every year, NFL's free agency period will cause some serious drama and excitement, and you won't want to miss any of the action when March rolls around. "I haven't had a chance to pick where I play since 2007, when I chose to go to Michigan State". But it would also allow them to trade Cousins and get something substantial back for him. He mentioned Jacksonville as an example; the Jaguars had not won more than five games since 2010 yet reached the AFC Championship Game this season.

This free agency class is loaded, with the biggest name surely being Bell in the backfield.

There are other factors at play in the Cousins sweepstakes. If the team does not, they would then receive two draft picks.

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