The Redskins should be extremely careful toying with the idea of franchise-tagging Kirk Cousins again, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tells Chad Dukes, because of the unintended consequence it could bring about with Alex Smith.
This, in reference to Adam Schefter’s bombshell report on Super Bowl Sunday, that the Redskins — after trading for and signing Alex Smith to a four-year extension — are considering still using the franchise tag on Cousins, in an effort to maintain control of his rights and eventually trade him.
That, the report goes, could help Washington recoup at least some of the compensation they gave up — Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick — in the deal for Smith.
“The one thing we learned about NFL contracts this week from Josh McDaniels was nothing is done until it’s done,” Florio said Friday on 106.7 The Fan. “And if I was Washington, I’d be very careful about making noise about franchise-tagging Kirk Cousins, because if I’m Alex Smith, and I hear all this crap, and I think of what can happen if they do tag him again, and he signs it, and there’s two starting quarterbacks under contract for 2018 — right? — if I’m Alex Smith, maybe I decide not to follow through with that contract extension that I’m not gonna sign until March 14.”
“No deal is done until it’s done,” he said, “and I think they need to abandon this stupid idea that they’re thinking about tagging Cousins, because that could cause the guy that’s gonna replace Cousins to maybe have some second thoughts.”
“I think what happened was somebody fed it to Schefty last Sunday,” Florio went on to say. “It’s a good symbiotic situation. He needs to have a story that he can claim is some cannonball into the deep end of the pool on Super Bowl Sunday, and Washington gets Kirk Cousins thinking about what may happen. Instead of him savoring the fact that he’s gonna hit the open market, unfettered and unrestricted, now he’s got to worry about getting tagged by Washington. And my position would be, ‘Fine. I’ll take $34.47. I’ll sign it immediately. Checkmate.'”
Florio believes Cousins — whenever he does hit the free agency market — will be in prime position to spark a bidding war.
“He’s in position to do that, assuming that you’ve got two or more teams who are interested in signing him, and I think there will be,” he said. “You’ll have the Jets, the Broncos, the Vikings, the Cardinals I think all potentially interested to some degree or another. And now the thing is, he may not want to take the best bid that he gets. He may take less to go somewhere else, because if you take the highest bid, you end up a Brown, potentially.”
“But they’re in a position to get more than $27.5 [million],” Florio said. “The question is how much more than 27.5, and if Washington is dumb enough to tag him again, that’s $34.47 million for 2018. And I’m sure he’d love to take that and then get to the market next year.”