Fooch’s update: Pro Football Talk is reporting a source says Washington would have to be “blown away” to do a deal, and they are thinking something like the RG3 deal:
That time around, Washington swapped three first-round picks and a second-round picks for the No. 2 overall selection, which they used to take Griffin. Surely, Allen won’t want three ones and a two for Cousins; however, the haul the team surrendered for Griffin suggests that Washington won’t be simply giving Cousins away.
Washington placed the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins Tuesday morning, and that may or may not mark the end of things for this offseason. The exclusive tag means nobody else can negotiate with Cousins, which means he cannot sign an offer sheet anywhere. However, Washington is allowed to work with other teams to negotiate a potential trade of Cousins.
ESPN reported on Monday that the 49ers were the only team with which Cousins would sign. However, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport seems to think a trade will not happen this year. After Washington placed the exclusive tag, Rapoport said this “answer[ed] one of the biggest questions of the 2017 offseason ... They decided they are not going to trade him.” Here is the full transcript of his comments (video):
“It is the exclusive franchise tag. It is a decision [Washington] made, that he is not going anywhere. Because it is the exclusive and not the non-exclusive tag, Cousins is going to make $24 million, that much is sure. He’s gonna be on a one-year deal. But he is not going anywhere. And really, [Washington], what they did was, answer one of the biggest questions of the 2017 offseason with one move. They decided they are not going to trade him to the San Francisco 49ers, they’ve decided they are not going to trade him anywhere. He is going to be their quarterback for the next year, and that is that. The other part of this is, for Kirk Cousins’ future, still I believe 27, he’s not been tagged twice. This basically makes him tag-proof for the rest of his career, because a third tag would be at a 40 percent increase, something no team is going to do. So really, at 27 years old, having made $44 million over last year and this year, unable to be tagged again, Kirk Cousins is doing very well in life, let’s just say that.
When Around The NFL writer Chris Wesseling tweeted out the video, I tweeted back at him and Ian Rapoport that this did not seem to preclude a trade. Rapoport did not response, while Wesseling replied, saying that he took the video to mean Rapoport, “has heard from Redskins sources that they’re not trading Cousins.”
I have to think if the right offer were to come along, Washington would consider a move. However, it is not like they have a ton of leverage to demand significant compensation in a trade. Washington could technically still tag Cousins next year, but it would be getting into a percentage of the team’s cap that is unheard of for a single position.
The 49ers could still do a deal to ensure they get their guy sooner rather than later, but it just does not seem to be the best move given the circumstances. The 49ers have committed to Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch for at least a few years. Cousins is very likely to hit unrestricted free agency next offseason. The 49ers will have plenty of cap space barring anything drastically unforeseen. All of this is to say, why not just show some patience and save on picks? If Cousins works out, it’s a huge coup. If Cousins does not work out, you have not blown some serious draft capital to find out.