SUNDAY, 10:58am: Despite a report from Albert Breer of TheMMQB indicating that the Redskins would not be willing to use the franchise tag on Cousins for a second consecutive year, ESPN’s Adam Schefter, like La Canfora, hears that Washington will indeed use the tag if it cannot reach a long-term deal with Cousins before free agency opens in March. Schefter adds that if the Redskins had to tag Cousins for a third straight year in 2018, it would cost the team over $34MM, which gives the quarterback some leverage heading into contract negotiations.
THURSDAY, 1:15pm: As we look ahead to the spring, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins stands as the top player on the free agent market. While big names like Chandler Jones, Kawann Short, Jamie Collins, and Dont’a Hightower are also eligible for free agency, Cousins stands to make the most money given the dearth of quality QBs in the NFL. In order to keep him, the Redskins are willing to use the franchise tag for the second year in a row, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Cousins is after a lucrative long-term deal, but a second franchise tag wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. The tag would grant him a 120% raise on his current deal which comes out to roughly $23.94MM for 2017. Of course, that potential outcome also gives his reps a favorable jumping-off point for multi-year contract. If the Redskins allow Cousins to reach the open market, the bidding could get even higher and several teams in need of a signal caller have told La Canfora they will pursue him if given the opportunity.
Heading into today’s game, Cousins has a 6-3-1 record on the year with a 67.2% completion percentage. The advanced metrics aren’t as wild about his play, however. Pro Football Focus has Cousins ranked as just the 17th best QB in the NFL this year, behind Ryan Tannehill, Brian Hoyer, and Tyrod Taylor.
We should note that Albert Breer of The MMQB is hearing that the Redskins are unlikely to use the tag on Cousins. Here’s a full rundown of his latest column discussing the Washington QB and much more.
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