Cole specifically mentions the 49ers and Browns as two potential trade partners for Cousins.
San Francisco has already been tossed out by a number of reporters as a possible landing spot for Cousins, considering that they’re expected to hire Kyle Shanahan as their next head coach and he spent a few years working directly with Cousins. According to Cole, it’s possible the 49ers would be willing to include their No. 2 overall pick in a trade for Cousins.
As for the Browns, Cole points out that Cousins has played in a similar offense to Hue Jackson’s under Jay Gruden.
Cousins continues to be mentioned in trade rumors, as the Redskins find themselves in a difficult situation with their quarterback.
Cousins would make close to $24 million under the tag next year and should Washington franchise him a third time, it would run them a staggering $34,478,784 in 2018. A third franchise tag would bring Cousins’ three-year compensation to $58,422,384 and prevent the Redskins from tagging him for a fourth tag that would give him unprecedented leverage.
Of course, they could still try to sign him to a long-term contract. However, Cousins and his agent will almost certainly be asking for an annual salary in line with the $24 million it would cost Washington to franchise him.
On Sunday, Ian Rapoport reported the 49ers are expected to make a run at signing Cousins if the Redskins do not use the exclusive franchise tag on him.
The exclusive tag prevents other teams from negotiating with the tagged player while a non-exclusive tag opens the possibility that the player could sign an offer sheet with another team. Although, this would cost them two first-round picks to sign the player away from the other team.
Every year there’s talk about a team possibly signing a franchise player away from their current team but the cost is honestly just too prohibitive. Losing two first-round picks is a huge price to pay, even for a starting quarterback. However, in order to justify this move, they would have to sign him to a long-term extension but the player and his agent hold all the leverage, as they already know you’re willing to give up two premium picks just to negotiate this contract.
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 will pay 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 have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.