Washington will consider using franchise tag on Cousins despite Alex Smith trade

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The Minnesota Vikings are "number one with a bullet" on Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins' free agency wish list, Paul Allen of KFAN Minneapolis reports.

The Redskins, once the deal for Smith can be made official, will surrender cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round pick to the Chiefs.

His performance earned the praises of Broncos players, many of whom believe general manager John Elway will try to acquire a veteran this offseason to turn around their two-year quarterbacking slump. A talented roster with three possibly zero quarterbacks entering 2018 seems like a great fit for Cousins. To say nothing of fully escaping the dysfunction, bad business model and an organization in Washington that does not value him.

Between the time Washington tags Cousins and he signs the tag's tender (whenever he chooses to do that), Washington would have to keep that massive salary cap figure on its books, which would limit what Washington could do in free agency.

They have to do this in order to get back the compensation they loss in a trade agreement for Alex Smith last week.

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Cousins could also agree to the franchise tag, but then make it very hard for another team to trade for him - either by making exorbitant extensions demands or flat-out saying he won't play there beyond 2018.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that acquiring Cousins' services might be more complicated than that. If Washington just lets him go, they would probably get a third-round compensatory selection in the 2019 draft. He tweeted the tag was "negotiated into CBA for teams to have "intent" to sign players long term".

Hopefully, Graziano's bold prediction comes to fruition since it would make a plethora of Jets fans happy knowing they are getting a Pro Bowl quarterback ready to make some serious noise in the city that never sleeps. Washington is 44th in Round 2. For the other 30 teams in the National Football League, the offseason is here and the rumor mill is churning. Schefter cited league sources in his reporting.

In addition to having seven draft picks in the top 97, the Browns also have $110 million in salary cap space right now, most among quarterback-needy teams, and second overall.