The Washington Redskins are reportedly interested in executing a tag-and-trade deal with Kirk Cousins to try to recover some of the compensation lost in the acquisition of Alex Smith, who will receive $71 million in guarantees over the next four seasons.
Will the Redskins actually tag Cousins, who would be the books for $34.5 million in 2018?
“In theory, they could,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on Taz & The Moose. “It would open up a whole other can of worms and would only make things worse for them from a roster standpoint, from an available-cash standpoint, from a cap standpoint, from a PR standpoint, from a fan-relations standpoint, from a locker-room standpoint. If they actually do this, then what signal is that sending to every other guy in that room? If they’re willing to get this petty with a guy who’s had three of the greatest quarterback seasons in the history of this organization, then what are they willing to do to me?”
Tagging Cousins would also prevent Washington from making a meaningful splash in free agency.
Teams can begin applying franchise tags Feb. 20.
“Are they ruminating about it? Yeah,” La Canfora said. “At the end of the day, do they actually apply that tag and then go to war with Kirk Cousins again? He would call every team in the league and say, ‘I’m not doing an extension. If you trade for me, you’re an idiot. I’m going to take $35 million from them. Sign me as a UFA (unrestricted free agent) next year.’ (The Redskins) can’t win. At some point, somebody in that building will tell Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen, ‘There’s degrees of losing here. You need to cut the cord and let him go.’
“But the fact that they would even have these conversations outside of their building is asinine,” La Canfora continued. “It really is. They’re not going to win anything from this. By the time we get to Feb. 20 and teams start applying the tag, I would like to think they will have realized that’s not the road they want to go down.”