The Washington Redskins have officially placed the exclusive franchise tag on QB Kirk Cousins Tuesday, according to his agent Mike McCartney.
— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) February 28, 2017
Tag! I'm it!
— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) February 28, 2017
This is probably the least surprising move, considering that this was really the Redskins’ only option right now, as they’re reportedly nowhere close to an agreement on a long-term deal.
The exclusive tag prevents other teams from negotiating with him during free agency, but the Redskins are still fully able to trade him to another team and give him permission to speak to a team about a long-term extension.
This move will run the Redskins $23.94 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season, but won’t prevent them from working on a long-term agreement in the coming months. Cousins is expected to sign this tender at some point in the near future.
By tagging Cousins again, this all but rules out a third franchise tag for Cousins, which means he’s one season away from testing the open market and possibly becoming the highest paid player in the NFL.
Cousins, 28, is a former fourth-round pick of the Redskins back in 2012. He played out the final year of his four-year, $2,572,688 rookie contract that included a $472,688 signing bonus when Washington elected to use the franchise tag on Cousins that paid him $19.953 million fully guaranteed for the 2016 season.
In 2016, Cousins has appeared in all 16 games and thrown for 4,917 yards while completing 67 percent of his passes to go along with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 8 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players.
We had him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.