The Kirk Cousins situation has been a fun little chess match between the quarterback and the franchise he plays for.
On Tuesday Feb 28, the Washington Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins, which wasn’t out of the ordinary. What was the curious thing about it though, was that it wasn’t your typical non-exclusive franchise tag, but rather an exclusive franchise tag.
The exclusive franchise tag allows for only Washington to negotiate a trade with another team and does NOT include two first round draft picks should a trade be done, which is that the non-exclusive tag does.
And while stories immediately broke that the exclusive tag all but meant Cousins was staying put in D.C. for 2017, the reality was that it made it easier for a team like San Francisco to make a deal for the quarterback they covet.
Of course, a lot of things can happen between now and the NFL Draft, but the course has been set for a very interesting couple of weeks and months.
Should the Redskins not be able to trade away Cousins, then they’ll keep him until July, when they can no longer negotiate a long term deal. No long term deal and back-to-back franchise tags means Cousins is an unrestricted free agent in 2018 at the age of 28, free to sign anywhere.
At the very minimum, the exclusive tag buys Washington time to make a trade, or continue to seek out a long term deal before the July 15 deadline.
It’s an interesting saga that will continue to playout during the NFL Combine and in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. It’s all fun and game, and it’s especially fun to see it play out.