nsucurrent.com April 19, 2018

Cleveland Browns: Impacts of the Alex Smith trade

05 February 2018, 06:09 | Nina Perez

Washington considering tagging, trying to trade Kirk Cousins, report says | Should Jets bite?

Report | Redskins could franchise tag Kirk Cousins to trade him

The Chiefs have a trade in place with Washington, and will send Alex Smith to the NFC East team in exchange for a third-round pick in this year's draft and cornerback Kendall Fuller.

Cousins has some say here, though, as he could avoid signing his franchise tag for a long period of time, which would force the Redskins to count his $34.5 million against their salary cap.

Teams can begin designating players for the franchise tag February 20.

"I don't take it personal", Cousins said when asked what he thought about the team not contacting him until the next day.

From Cousins' perspective, he perhaps would not want to turn this into a drawn-out process, because that might mean missing spring practices (which are valuable for an incoming quarterback) with his new team. They've heard all of the news about Le'Veon Bell's contract negotiations not making any progress.

McCown, who went 5-8 with the Jets last season with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions before breaking his hand, told Newsday that he'd be happy to play that role, something he did for two years in Cleveland.

Cousins also could tell any of Washington's potential trade partners that he is unwilling to sign a long-term deal there, dampening that team's enthusiasm for surrendering a top draft pick for his services and holding up any potential trade. The fourth-round pick from Michigan State was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in each of his three seasons as the starter in Washington.

The biggest assumption in all this is that the Browns would even be interested in signing Cousins in the first place, a scenario that seems less likely now that the club has brought former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan to town to work as a consultant.

But I also think Cousins' upside as a passer is capped. "Whoever is in that room I'm going to help as much as I can, give away my experiences and help them have the best chance they can have at a good career". Three teams were mentioned by National Football League execs as the most likely landing spots for Cousins. Cousins told USA Today he spoke to owner Dan Snyder and coach Jay Gruden, but not team president Bruce Allen. Meanwhile, it's been reported that the Vikings may be at the top of Cousins' wish list.

Cousins has been open about his desire in testing free agency, and he's closer to it now than ever before. The Redskins, with Robert Griffin III on the roster and with uncertainty over Cousins' future, wanted to wait.

It is a decision that Washington will have to make in the coming weeks.

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