The Washington Redskins are moving forward with Alex Smith as the team’s starting quarterback and, on the surface, the trade to net the veteran signal-caller appeared to end the Kirk Cousins saga in the nation’s capital. However, there has been buzz that Washington could look to throw a wrench in Cousins’ future and, if the team attempts it, there could be real consequences.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk brings word that the organization is considering throwing the franchise tag on Cousins and, in short, it would be a move based in “pettiness.”
As one source with knowledge of the manner in which Washington president Bruce Allen does business put it, Allen will try to conjure up something in an effort to salvage value for Cousins and, in turn, make it harder for him to hit the open market and finally get the long-term contract he deserves. As another source put it regarding Washington, “They are in the pettiness game.”
Washington would theoretically be seeking trade compensation in exchange for Cousins because, simply put, there doesn’t appear to be a real scenario in which he actually returns and plays for the organization this season. Beyond that, though, Washington’s theoretical move could have unintended consequences.
Albert Breer of the MMQB reports that, if Washington attempts the maneuver, Cousins and his camp would have legitimate grounds for a grievance.
By the way, if the Redskins attempt to franchise Cousins, my understanding is that his camp will quickly file a grievance to block tag, based on Washington violating the spirit of the rules, which dictate that players are tagged as a mechanism for teams to buy time in getting a long-term deal done.
There are a lot of “ifs” with this case at the moment, but Washington looking into franchising Cousins, rather than simply letting him go, could put a number of different things into motion. Any thought that the quarterback would sign elsewhere without incident has quickly vanished and the franchise isn’t looking great on the outside looking in as a result.