Tag-and-trade hinges on Kirk Cousins long-term contract

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It’s gradually becoming a foregone conclusion that Washington will apply the franchise tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins for a second time. Whether that means Cousins definitely will be with the team is a different issue.

Once it became obvious that the 49ers would hire coach Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers became an obvious potential destination for Cousins. So what would it take to make that happen? (Glad you asked, even if you didn’t.)

The first step will be setting trade compensation. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft arguably is too much; the teams could flip-flop the second and 17th picks for starters, with maybe something more (for example, the 49ers’ second-round pick) to get it done.

The harder part will be working out a contract with Cousins.

Since he’d have to be tagged before he’s traded, Cousins will be entitled to $23.94 million for 2017 prior to any contract being done with the 49ers. With the franchise tag and its 44-percent raise highly unlikely for 2018, Washington at most would apply the transition tag next year, which would increase the $23.05 million by another 20 percent — to $28.78 million. And so Cousins likely would want more than $52 million fully guaranteed over the first two years as part of a long-term deal to stay in Washington.

So here’s the real question: Would Cousins accept a deal that pays out less than $52 million over the first two years as part of a trade to San Francisco? He previously has made it clear he won’t take a hometown discount in Washington; would he extend a hometown discount to a new hometown that is ready and willing to give him the kind of long-term security that Washington has refused to provide?

If yes, then a tag-and-trade becomes more likely. If no, then he gets traded to the 49ers only if the 49ers will give Cousins the same deal he wants in Washington, if/when he’s tagged again.

38 responses to “Tag-and-trade hinges on Kirk Cousins long-term contract

  1. And go with Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld at QB? Those are the in house options so this is silly speculation. Gruden’s offense takes time (1-2 years) to learn so a new QB would destroy the 2017 season and possibly the 2018 season dooming Gruden and his staff (not to mention the front office). Where are you going to find an upgrade to Cousins? Jay Cutler? One of the big three backups (Glennon, Garoppolo, McCarren)? Taylor if the Bills cut him loose? Would Dan Snyder absorb the negative fan reaction if the team goes 5 and 11 next year? We will know the answer shortly.

  2. What a hot mess. I cant wait until the real story comes out. If the Redskins lose the only viable QB they had in years, cannot sign him to a LTD, its pretty poor job by the management. Somebody should get fired over this, yet maybe the guy whose responsible cant be fired. Aw what the the heck, fire Bruce Allen just on principal.

    Or….they are all on the same page and dont think Cousins is worth what hes asking. In either case, fire Bruce Allen.

  3. The real question is whether Kaepernick will accept a large sub sandwich, or half one plus a spot to sleep out of the rain.

  4. Wouldn’t this set Washington back at least two years? It looks like they may not keep Jackson, Garçon, or Cousins? Not saying long term it might not work out, but going to be a rough couple years for ‘skin fans with no guarantees they’ll get better.

  5. The Redskins are on the bubble of playoff teams in recent years, and seem to be putting pieces in place for the future. So with no viable in-house replacement, why on earth would they deal away Cousins? Even if they believe in a QB at #2 in this draft, that still sets trajectory of their ascension back considerably by having to teach your system to your most important player.

  6. Absurd suggestion.

    The difference in value between the 2nd pick and the 17th is worth the sixth overall pick, throw in their second and it’s worth the 3rd overall pick.

    For right to pay $25 million a year to a qb who’ll turn 29 before the season starts.

    I think I’ll just take Trubisky, he’s probably going to be much better, he will be cheaper and the niners get to keep their second round pick.

  7. Again, your formula is fundamentally flawed. You expect the team to incur the full risk for a long term contract for absolutely nothing at all given by Cousins. Really? You say this every time and you never bother to actually think about what you are saying. If Cousins wants the security of a long term contract with no injury risk he most certainly will not get the same money as he does when he has all the risk

  8. In the past the redskins franchise has grossly overpaid free agents who often were busts! I just fail to understand why this team doesn’t want to pay him market value. You have a situation where this guy was drafted and molded by the team and through his own work ethic he is now a top 10 QB today! With the cap space exceeding $50mil just this year & looking good the next few years they can pay him & add talent to the team. Not paying him just sound foolish for any team that’s committed to winning & understands the difficulty\demands from the QB position.

    – Frustrated Redskins fan

  9. Cousins doesn’t make the players around him better like top tier QB’s. Don’t get me wrong they are a better team with him but he is a 2012 Matt Ryan prototype, a lot of yards and stats but unable to lead a team deep into the playoffs. The Redskins know it in their hearts and they are hesitating to give him the big money because it’s true.Maybe the Redskins or whoever he is traded to can get him a Julio Jones type receiver and a decent defense to help him like the Falcons did Ryan, because that is what it is going to take for him to be remotely close to a playoff caliber QB who can lead a team deep into the post season. At least the Redskins know stats aren’t everything. I wouldn’t blame them if they cut bait. To the Football stupid and ignorant this may seem preposterous, but I am a football genius so take my word for it.

  10. I can’t see that there’s anyone better than Cousins in this draft. So unless they’re trying to stockpile draft picks for a shot at someone like Garappolo, they’re probably better off sticking with Cousins (either year-to-year or long term).

  11. 1st off I think Cousins is a joke and not worth that kind of money. However Santa Clara needs a QB and they have plenty of cap space to overpay for this guy.

  12. This guy is a pretty average QB but I give him a lot of credit for knowing how to maximize his value. By the time he signs a deal he’ll be averaging what the elite guys get.

  13. If a trade-up from 17 to 2 (plus a couple of ham sandwiches) is Cousin’s worth as a proven starter, then NE better not hold their breath on a blockbuster deal for Jimmy G.

  14. pj1983a says:

    Feb 22, 2017 3:04 PM

    I can’t see that there’s anyone better than Cousins in this draft. So unless they’re trying to stockpile draft picks for a shot at someone like Garappolo, they’re probably better off sticking with Cousins (either year-to-year or long term).
    _______________________________________
    This is just so reflective of dumb team management. Why satisfy mediocre Kirk with billion$ of dollars and prevent yourselves from improving the WHOLE team. So you move on with super rich Kirk and use $10 wide receivers, $12 dollar linemen and $15 dollar defenders? But because you got $120 million Kirk, you’re good? Sad.

  15. A mediocre defense would have had the Redskins deep in the playoffs. Getting rid of Kirk creates two problems. Teams have to spend – what – 89% of their cap? You aren’t saving money really by not giving him a market contract. You aren’t going to run out of players willing to play for whatever is left, and their aren’t a lot of amazing free agents just lingering around. Teams are bad when the team culture is bad. Teams are good when you build. You have Kirk. Build around him. Draft better. Be a relevant team.

  16. Hey PFT, how come no mention of the Cousins shoving the volunteer ref at a charity flag football game story? Showed his 1st class jerk true colors there

    =========================================

    I have been a REDSKINS fan for a long time and you are correct, Cousins has been acting like a total jerk. He thinks he is better then he is. Redskins didnt sign him to a long term deal because he wanted to be paid Andrew Lick money and said take it or leave it. I say bye bye to the big game choker !!! HTTR

  17. dcfan21 says:
    Feb 22, 2017 2:01 PM
    In the past the redskins franchise has grossly overpaid free agents who often were busts! I just fail to understand why this team doesn’t want to pay him market value. You have a situation where this guy was drafted and molded by the team and through his own work ethic he is now a top 10 QB today! With the cap space exceeding $50mil just this year & looking good the next few years they can pay him & add talent to the team. Not paying him just sound foolish for any team that’s committed to winning & understands the difficulty\demands from the QB position.

    – Frustrated Redskins fan

    =======================================
    Cousins wont take market value money, he wants more then market value!!!! You people want to blame the organization but its Cousins that wants top QB money and hes not worth it

  18. Hopefully McCloughan and the people at Redskins Park who know what they’re doing will convince Snyder to bypass Allen and get this done.

    Cousins isn’t leading any team to prosperity. Let him go to SF and put up misleading stats.

  19. I’m with Sporto. We can argue over how good Cousins is, and we can argue over what a market deal looks like. But I cannot understand why the 9ers would pay so much for the right to pay a market deal.

    Using the old “draft value” chart, going from #17 to #3 is worth the same price as the #6 pick outright. Adding a 2nd rounder to that would be nutty. I think that if the 9ers pay more than a 2nd rounder they’re acting out of desperation. And, as a fan of the team that drafted Christian Ponder, I can assure you that I know what desperation looks like.

  20. Whats makes this funny is that they want the Redskins to swap first round picks. Yeah Right!!!!!! Their first this year their first next year and a Second this might get it done. Maybe even a player or two.

    Keep dreaming up this kind of story. You might get close once in a while.

  21. Regardless of where Cousins plays he is going to cash in as the guy drafted behind RGme and he deserves it….. and like they say……timing is everything

  22. Do you want to pay a QB $25 million if he cannot get you past the first round of the playoffs? I doubt that the Niners would want to risk that much on Cousins. Teams like Houston may want to take a chance on him but they have no cap space. Denver to me would be a more likely destination for him than either SF or Houston. Minnesota may be another possibility. Bridgewater may not be ready and Bradford did not get them into the playoffs despite a good defense.

  23. Of all the horrible moves and washed up bums the redskins have purchased in the Dan Snyder era, they have the opportunity to work with a home grown, drafted player, sign him to a long term deal and they don’t. There’s a washed up veteran in the cards for Washington. They’ll overpay. And we’ll regress yet again.

  24. You’re saying the 49ers should give up the #2 (2600 points) and #34 (560 points) picks for the #17 pick (950 points) plus Cousins? How much do you think Cousins is worth? 2210 points? This ain’t Tom Brady. Cousins’ trade value should be in line with the Alex Smith deal; around 900-1000 points.

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