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Kirk Cousins gets exclusive franchise tag

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Kirk Cousins has received the franchise tag for the second year in a row.

Mike McCartney, the agent for the Redskins quarterback, announced on Tuesday that the team has placed an exclusive franchise tag on Cousins. The exclusive tender means that Cousins won’t be able to negotiate with other teams, who would have had the option of signing him to an offer sheet and sending two first-round picks to the Redskins as compensation had the team used the non-exclusive version.

The Redskins can still trade Cousins, but would be negotiating the deal with interested teams on their own. That team would likely want to sign Cousins to a long-term deal rather than pay him nearly $24 million without any security beyond the 2017 season.

A recent report had the 49ers as Cousins’ choice of destinations should he be dealt as he’d be reunited with Kyle Shanahan. There’s a lot of time for things to play out on that front, which guarantees that discussions about Cousins’ future in Washington aren’t going to end because the tag has been used.

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61 Responses to “Kirk Cousins gets exclusive franchise tag”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 28, 2017 1:40 PM

    Kirk Cousins may have everyone fooled but those of us who know him and actually know the sport and watch the team know he’s replaceable and will get exposed big time without Jay Gruden and Jordan Reed. I say BYE BYE Kirk and can’t wait for the sweet package we will get in return as I eye Lamar Jackson in the future. Scot McCloughan > Your favorite GM.

  2. cdysart101 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:41 PM

    Good for him. I wouldn’t turn away that money even if it came courtesy of Snyder.

  3. pastabelly says: Feb 28, 2017 1:44 PM

    Kirk took them to the cleaners at 2 years at $42 million.

    Getting this far, he should sign the tender ASAP and not do a deal with anybody this year and get absolute free agency next year. Have a great year and hit a second jackpot. He really owes it to himself to get out of Washington. They had two chance to do market deals with him and didn’t show faith in him. Now (or 2018), he should find someone who does.

  4. bigmikeskinsfan says: Feb 28, 2017 1:46 PM

    this just means he won’t be going anywhere until we work out a long term deal by July 15. People are so desperate to trash us they just froth at the mouth over ANYTHING.

  5. niners816 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:46 PM

    cdysart101 says:
    Feb 28, 2017 1:41 PM
    Good for him. I wouldn’t turn away that money even if it came courtesy of Snyder.
    ——————
    He didn’t have a choice, he got tagged.

  6. jjackwagon says: Feb 28, 2017 1:47 PM

    Except Kirk isn’t leaving and your GM will be dealing with this issue AGAIN next year, at which time the franchise tag will cost your Redskins $28.8 mil. LOLOLOLOL

  7. quickbooks12 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:47 PM

    Lamar Jackson?? Ha.. RGIII all over again

  8. QB Film Room says: Feb 28, 2017 1:49 PM

    LOLOL

  9. jerseyshoregiant says: Feb 28, 2017 1:49 PM

    He wears his wedding ring during the game. I’ll never understand that. Fitzpatrick does too.

  10. mvalvt says: Feb 28, 2017 1:49 PM

    Lamar Jackson will be a really good WR in the NFL. He’s not an NFL QB. Poor mechanics. Turns the ball over. Human highlight film, yes. Stable, starting NFL QB? No.

  11. QB Film Room says: Feb 28, 2017 1:50 PM

    Would a longer term deal offer him better tax support? Or does it even matter in this case?

  12. mrbiggstuff says: Feb 28, 2017 1:50 PM

    They have muffed this up as bad as any team could.

    The Redskins couldn’t stand not being the most incompetent team in the NFL, and they weren’t going to take it laying down.

  13. chawk12thman says: Feb 28, 2017 1:51 PM

    Not sure any other team will “like that” when it comes time to trade. Too much money for one year for him without future years guaranteed. Unless a team gets guarantee from him signing a contract, it looks to me he stays put, and next year he hits the open market.

  14. niners816 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:51 PM

    That’s a good deal for Kirk. Play this last year for the REDSKINS, get your ridiculous amount of money, then next year hit the market as a free agent and come to San Fran. The Niners won’t have to give up a draft pick to get him. Win/Win for both sides.

  15. 6thsense10 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:53 PM

    Good for him. I watched Cousins het drafted and stuck behind RG3 and he could have made a stink about it but didn’t.

    Now when you get drafted in the same year as a player who the team gave up multiple 1st round picks for you have to know your chances of starting for the team in the near future will likely be slim. Because the other player will get every opportunity to succeed even when it’s obvious he’s not getting the job done.

    Kirk came in and was a turnover machine and steadily worked his way from that to a high quality starter in the NFL. He earned his paydays.

  16. najacoo22 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:54 PM

    Please keep him, Bruce Allen. Pinch pennies elsewhere. We’ve seen what the alternative looks like.

  17. bengals1974 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:54 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Feb 28, 2017 1:40 PM
    Kirk Cousins may have everyone fooled but those of us who know him and actually know the sport and watch the team know he’s replaceable and will get exposed big time without Jay Gruden and Jordan Reed. I say BYE BYE Kirk and can’t wait for the sweet package we will get in return as I eye Lamar Jackson in the future. Scot McCloughan > Your favorite GM.

    ———

    You could be right about the talent, but I don’t think he is getting traded. If that was the real goal, they would have used the tag that allowed him to negotiate with other teams, and get two first rounders.. I could be wrong …

  18. thesmartestmanever says: Feb 28, 2017 1:56 PM

    Fudge ‘re. Let him, plug in Colt, coach up nasty mate and build that defense. Hell add Adrian Peterson to the mix and see what happens.

    Or sign him long term, I don’t care.

  19. wtfru2 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:56 PM

    Way to go Kirk! Someone finally turned the tables on the team. Remember when RG 3 was the talk of the town and Cousins was an afterthought? It’s fun to watch a team with no regard for the player, finally have to squirm a bit. Snyder, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. lol…..

  20. cranpa1 says: Feb 28, 2017 1:58 PM

    At this point the Redskins offer him the 53 million over 2 year as part of a long term deal making him the highest paid player in NFL history. Subsequently, Cousins decides if he wants to be with the team with that offer. If he declines, he obviously doesn’t want to be a Redskin. If the Redskins again try to low ball him, he will be gone next year. If they work something out with the 49ers I would expect it to be at least two first round picks as if they put the non-exclusive tag on him. Still so many ways for this to play out.

  21. streetyson says: Feb 28, 2017 1:58 PM

    That’s $10M more than Brady ($14M for 2017). Fools! – given the tag essentially averages the top 5 salaries, that effectively means you think Captain Kirk is valued as between the 2nd & 3rd-best QB in the league right now. Yes he’s top 10 but not top 3. A top 3 QB is an elite and the sort who can carry the team and make everyone around him much better – hence Brady, Rogers, and Ryan – and arguably Carr, Prescott, Stafford and Roethlisberger, but that ain’t quite Kirky.

  22. joetorontoeatsdic says: Feb 28, 2017 2:04 PM

    The Redskins really need Cousins to start that sports nutrition company. That way everyone wins

  23. ricko1112 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:07 PM

    Holy cow! This guy is taking the Redskins to the cleaners! He’s an average QB making top 3 money! No wonder Washington has been a laughingstock since Snyder took over.

  24. tomtravis76 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:10 PM

    Snyder wants a change. Cousins, Gruden and the GM will not be with the franchise next off season.

    Snyder doesn’t want to win vanilla, He so desperately wants to be the talk of the league. It would not be shocking if he brought Bob back next season for a redemption story line.

  25. sparxx2157 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:10 PM

    Wake up Redskins fans quarterbacks don’t grow on trees in this league when you have a good quarterback you need to pay him. So stop the dumb comments about saying bye to Kurt

  26. thedangerouskitchen says: Feb 28, 2017 2:12 PM

    jerseyshoregiant says:
    Feb 28, 2017 1:49 PM
    He wears his wedding ring during the game. I’ll never understand that. Fitzpatrick does too.

    ——————————-

    IDK. It might be that it has meaning to him.

  27. thedangerouskitchen says: Feb 28, 2017 2:14 PM

    So does this means that SF should just toss an inexpensive piece of meat back there at qb for this year while they put extra resources into building up their offensive line for next year?

  28. feckyerlife says: Feb 28, 2017 2:16 PM

    Its not the GM, the GM would’ve signed him. its Bruce Allen
    jackwagon says:
    Feb 28, 2017 1:47 PM
    Except Kirk isn’t leaving and your GM will be dealing with this issue AGAIN next year, at which time the franchise tag will cost your Redskins $28.8 mil. LOLOLOLOL

  29. elvoid says: Feb 28, 2017 2:16 PM

    The smart thing to do would have been to go non-exclusive.

    Let him field offers – decide if he’s worth it and match if you think so. I highly doubt any team offers him 53 million for the next two years, so you likely get him into a reasonable long term deal in the end.

    Or if the price is too high…

    Let him go and get two first rounders – then pursue another QB – there’s a couple of good ones likely to be available this year – none that will cost you this kind of cash. None that are likely to take you to the Super Bowl, sure – but be honest: was Cousins?

    Redskins putting the exclusive tag on him again doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. If he plays under it this year, you’re back to this position next year – only the Skin’s position is even weaker.

    Cousins? He played this thing like a genius – so good on him. Of course with the Keystone Cops that passes for Redskins management on the other side of table, it probably wasn’t really that hard.

  30. jimmypx says: Feb 28, 2017 2:19 PM

    The Redskins fans who say “get rid of Kirk”, my question is “and replace him with who” ??

    Kirk is a top 10 QB and they are rare. As you saw with RG3, drafting QBs high is hit or miss..mainly miss.
    If they were smart, they’d pay the man with a fat long term contract.

  31. clintonite44 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:22 PM

    6thsense10 says:

    Feb 28, 2017 1:53 PM

    Good for him. I watched Cousins get drafted and stuck behind RG3 and he could have made a stink about it but didn’t.
    ________________________________________
    No, he COULD NOT make a stink about it. That team RGIII was playing with made it to the NFL playoffs. How is Kirk gonna complain about not playing when the starter took the team to an 11-5 record!? Idiot!

  32. txbrit says: Feb 28, 2017 2:24 PM

    Whats the O/U on how quickly he signs the tender…

    and is it measured in hours or minutes?

  33. hendawg21 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:26 PM

    Cousins was poo poo before Gruden and his offense, when given the opportunity with Shanahan, well he got benched…this theory that he’d want to be reunited with Kyle is crazy since he only blossomed into a decent QB under and in Gruden’s offense. That being said I say trade him and get those picks, all you need is a place holder for a year 2018 will be a better QB draft class…

  34. scmems07 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:26 PM

    There’s really no other explanation for this, the Redskins screwed this one up bad.

    Cousins is a talented QB with a big arm and mobility but he should not be paid like a top 5 QB. He’s in that $18 mil a year range IMO, a good QB but not enough to turn a bad team into a playoff contender similar to Tannehill, Wilson, Newton. If I’m going to pay a QB $20 mil plus then he’d better be able to account for at least 5-7 wins alone like an Aaron Rogers.

  35. vikesfan320 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:27 PM

    Is it just me or does the franchise tag seem kind of shady? Like, “We don’t want to pay you, but we also want to remove all negotiating leverage you have with us or any other team by placing this tag on you.” It just seems ludicrous to me.

    Imagine in the NBA if the Cavs just tagged LeBron James back in 2010. Or if the Thunder tagged Kevin Durant last year. Every player in professional sports should have the right to negotiate the best deal possible for themselves, and the franchise tag removes that ability.

    Unless I misunderstand something about this, I would think the NFLPA should make this a sticking point in the next CBA.

  36. abcisezas123 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:31 PM

    Not sure it was so smart to make Cousins exclusive. He’s average to above average. I would have pursued the potential for draft picks and then get aggressive in this year’s draft.

    Somebody at the Redskins is apparently drinking…

  37. dirtydrynn27 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:34 PM

    No matter what the Redskins do weather they sign Cousins or ship him to SF.there will always be hateful and brainless comments

    Did you see all the negative comments earlier when it was speculated that they would trade him to SF????

    If you hate the Redskins now you better hope and pray that Gruden does not fix his defense!!!!!

  38. cuda1234 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:47 PM

    I bet AJ McCarron or Mike Glennon would be good in Jay Gruden’s offense and that would leave a LOT of cap money for the players around them.

  39. stevejjones says: Feb 28, 2017 2:48 PM

    Getting paid laid so better lay low
    Schemin’ on hots my end the pro show
    Le’Veon Bell, Biv, DeCousins

  40. gmen5280 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:49 PM

    How you like that, 2yrs of work for $44mil. Get it while you can Kirk.

  41. rockbot69 says: Feb 28, 2017 2:54 PM

    Did some dude just put Lamar Jackson on a team as a starting quarterback? That dude is more Marcus Vick than Michael Vick.

  42. uab9253 says: Feb 28, 2017 3:01 PM

    I was just saying last night that I’m going to be apoplectic if they don’t get a deal done with Cousins and at least one of the two FA receivers. I will not attend a game this year, for the first time in years, if they screw this up. Our QB situation has been a nightmare for years, almost as bad as the parade of loser lining up under center for the Browns. High draft pick QB’s have not been panning out lately either, and I damn sure don’t want to pick up a Romo, or a Vince Young looking for a team to retire with.

  43. intrafinesse says: Feb 28, 2017 3:29 PM

    Why the Exclusive tag?
    Wouldn’t it be better if another team signed him and the Red Skins got two #1 picks?
    The signing team is likely to be a weak one, so those picks will be more valuable than if a top 8 team signed him.

  44. 6thsense10 says: Feb 28, 2017 3:30 PM

    clintonite44 says:
    Feb 28, 2017 2:22 PM
    6thsense10 says:

    Feb 28, 2017 1:53 PM

    Good for him. I watched Cousins get drafted and stuck behind RG3 and he could have made a stink about it but didn’t.
    ________________________________________
    No, he COULD NOT make a stink about it. That team RGIII was playing with made it to the NFL playoffs. How is Kirk gonna complain about not playing when the starter took the team to an 11-5 record!? Idiot!
    ———
    Buddy stick to decaf. First the Redskins were 10-6 RG3’s rookie year not 11-5.

    Secondly Cousins was expected to be drafted higher than he went and when he did get drafted it was to a team who had mortgaged their future for RG3 so it doesn’t take a genius to look and see on draft day that unless something goes horribly wrong with RG3 Cousins wouldn’t be getting a fair chance to earn the starting position. So yes even before he played a down for the team he could have made a stink about it and definitely in his 2nd and 3rd year when RG3 was making a stink on the field with his play Kirk could have divided the locker room by making a stink about the situation. Even after all that Snyder was still trying to figure a way to bring back RG3 until the coaches stepped in and talked some sense into him.

  45. mmack66 says: Feb 28, 2017 3:31 PM

    vikesfan320 says:
    Feb 28, 2017 2:27 PM

    Is it just me or does the franchise tag seem kind of shady? Like, “We don’t want to pay you, but we also want to remove all negotiating leverage you have with us or any other team by placing this tag on you.” It just seems ludicrous to me.
    ——————————

    I imagine that Cousins is perfectly fine with having made 40+ million for 2 years of work.

    If they tag him again, he will have made nearly $70 million in 3 seasons. Who wouldn’t take that?

  46. riraider says: Feb 28, 2017 3:31 PM

    Wow! That’s a lot of $$ for this guy.
    Good for him, bad for the fans of his team.

  47. bassplucker says: Feb 28, 2017 3:59 PM

    $42 mil in 2 years. Damn. That’s what I call a lucrative career.

  48. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 28, 2017 4:01 PM

    “Sure it’s just a Kia, and not one of the better ones, but it’s worth a lot more with an “Exclusive Franchise Tag” attached to it. Can’t you understand that?”.

  49. phuriousjorge says: Feb 28, 2017 4:02 PM

    Adding exclusive to franchise tag is redundent.

  50. thisoneguy1 says: Feb 28, 2017 4:10 PM

    intrafinesse says:
    Why the Exclusive tag?
    Wouldn’t it be better if another team signed him and the Red Skins got two #1 picks?

    In theory, yes. But absolutely NOBODY is giving up two No. 1 draft picks for Kirk Cousins, and the ‘Skins know that.

  51. metalup666 says: Feb 28, 2017 4:11 PM

    “Kirk is a top 10 QB and they are rare.”

    I agree that the Skins should keep Cousins, but top 10? That is a bit of a reach.

  52. thesmartestmanever says: Feb 28, 2017 4:38 PM

    Here’s why it’s exclusive. Kirk may want to be traded, but if it’s non exclusive he hold all the cards and can negotiate some crazy figure the Redskuns won’t match. This way the Redskuns can maintain some leverage in trade talks. Believe me if they trade him first round pick would be the start of talks.

  53. joparks2012 says: Feb 28, 2017 4:41 PM

    Last year – The commenters said Cousins wasn’t worth a long term deal, didn’t have enough sample size. Said he was worth 12 mil. The market was much higher than that. Skins tag him and everyone says the Skins were dumb for tagging him because he’s not good enough. This year, Cousins basically duplicates last season, they tag Cousins again presumably after not coming close to a long term agreement. Everyone says the Skins are dumb for tagging him. Says he’s not worth 24M while Brady makes less. People chastise the Skins for not paying the market. The problem is we don’t know what exactly Cousins has been asking for. We don’t know if he even wants a long term deal. We don’t know if he even wants to stay in Washington (although it looks like he doesn’t). This site has only thrown out speculative numbers but we have no idea. One thing is that without an alternative on the roster, the Skins would have been dumb not to tag him. Let him go into FA and get a compensation pick in return…next year. In this scenario, they still can extract some value. They can possibly trade him for picks this year and if they decide not to trade him they can get that comp pick the year later when they let him go.

    If it comes out that Cousins never really wanted a long term deal, then were the Skins really given much of a choice here?

  54. granadafan says: Feb 28, 2017 4:43 PM

    I wonder if the Niners were bluffing the Redskins into way overpaying Cousins and mess up their salary cap.

  55. vikesfan320 says: Feb 28, 2017 4:52 PM

    mmack66 says:
    Feb 28, 2017 3:31 PM
    vikesfan320 says:
    Feb 28, 2017 2:27 PM

    Is it just me or does the franchise tag seem kind of shady? Like, “We don’t want to pay you, but we also want to remove all negotiating leverage you have with us or any other team by placing this tag on you.” It just seems ludicrous to me.
    ——————————

    I imagine that Cousins is perfectly fine with having made 40+ million for 2 years of work.

    If they tag him again, he will have made nearly $70 million in 3 seasons. Who wouldn’t take that?
    ———————–
    Most players wouldn’t take that if they could secure a long-term option. Sure, $50 million for the next two years is good, but I’m guessing if someone was willing to offer him $20 million/year for the next 5 years, he’d jump on that in a heartbeat. Those have protection and injury offsets, if he blows out his knee day one he gets his $24 million this year and maybe never another contract.

  56. psubeerman21 says: Feb 28, 2017 5:15 PM

    Unless a team really thinks he is a franchise qb, no way they give up two 1st round picks. Obviously Washington doesn’t think so, or else they would have signed him long term. Why would any other team think otherwise?

  57. tonebones says: Feb 28, 2017 5:23 PM

    The Redskins are in perfect position to take advantage of some of the poorly run organizations. And it’s usually the poorly run organizations that end up with the 1st and 2nd pick in the draft. Teams like S.F. and Cleveland, who both need QBs, would probably be willing to trade their high picks for a guy like Cousins. Maybe even more, if the Redskins insist on it. The 49ers already know what it’s like to choose Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. I’m sure there are a few teams out there that would have taken RG3 over Luck, or Ryan Leaf over Peyton. Picking that high can be very scary if you lack confidence in your scouting operation.

  58. justintuckrule says: Feb 28, 2017 6:14 PM

    I hope Snyder’s luxury box is equipped with a squishy donut ring seat to sit on.

  59. trollaikman8 says: Feb 28, 2017 6:50 PM

    So 2yrs/$50M already in the bag for this glorified Nick Foles?

    It’s a good time to be a pocket passer in the NFL.

  60. cashcarewins says: Feb 28, 2017 7:30 PM

    Maybe Snyder is daring Shanahan to take the title for worst trade ever?

  61. laffers says: Mar 1, 2017 7:37 AM

    WOW, 5o million for 2 years.The “t\TAG” has been very good to this mediocre QB.
    I hope Cousins didn’t hurt himself rushing to the complex to immediately sign that tender.

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