Redskins Place Exclusive Franchise Tag on QB Kirk Cousins

For the second straight year, the Washington Redskins have placed the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, per an official announcement from the team.

The difference’s between this year’s tag and last year’s is that this time around the Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, whereas last year’s was the regular version. The exclusive tag prevents Cousins and his representation from negotiating deals with other NFL teams.

While Cousins is unable to seek out offers from other teams, the Redskins are able to trade him if it should get to that point. Washington is expected to see a similar haul that they gave up to draft Robert Griffin III in 2012 in any trade scenario involving Cousins. The preferred destination of Cousins’ choice if things don’t work out in Washington? San Francisco.

Washington will have until July 15 at the latest to agree to a long-term deal with Cousins, or Cousins will end up playing under the one-year tag and make $23.9 million under it, which would make him the 4th highest paid quarterback in the NFL in 2017 behind Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, and Andrew Luck.

The Washington Redskins and have until July 15th to reach common ground on a new contract. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)
The Washington Redskins and have until July 15th to reach common ground on a new contract.
(Nick Wass/Associated Press)

After the Redskins drafted Cousins in 2012, he served as the primary backup to Griffin III before Griffin III’s health and poor play on the field lead to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden during the reigns of starting quarterback over to Cousins full-time.

Since becoming the starting quarterback in Washington, Cousins has responded strongly with two great years that should make Redskins management comfortable investing money in him for the foreseeable future. Disregarding Cousins salary in 2017 for a minute, Josh Norman, Trent Williams, and Ryan Kerrigan are currently scheduled to be the highest paid players on the Redskins roster.

Cousins had a passer rating of 97.2 in 16 regular season games in 2016 that featured 25 passing touchdowns and a career-high 4,917 passing yards. He also tacked on career-high in rushing yards, and added in 4 rushing touchdowns to help his cause.

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