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Kirk Cousins signs franchise tag

The drama takes an expected turn.

Kirk Cousins has guaranteed himself at least $24 million this season. The Washington quarterback has signed his franchise tender, according to his agent. He will earn approximately $24 million if he plays the season on the tag. That amount became fully guaranteed upon signing.

Cousins could have held off signing and put Washington in a tough situation heading into training camp. He’s generally been the proverbial “good soldier” however, so it is not surprising he decided to sign and get it over with.

He reportedly wants out of Washington in a bad way, but for the time being, he is set to earn a nice chunk of change. And for purposes of a long-term contract, he has a very clear starting point. Any deal would be negotiated off his $24 million salary this season. Washington has not been inclined to climb anywhere near that high, and so the trade rumors persist.

Cousins’ decision to sign the tender does not preclude a trade. We have heard plenty of rumors that Dan Snyder does not want to reunite him with Kyle Shanahan, but for the time being, we’ll have to wait and see how this situation plays out.

The 49ers have Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on their roster, and will likely add at least two more quarterbacks this offseason. Maybe Kirk Cousins ends up as one of them, maybe the 49ers wait until next offseason to land him, or maybe there is never a Cousins-Shanahan reunion. For now, we wait.