Quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins could soon be a free agent and is expected to get a big contract somewhere else in the NFL because the Redskins recently put together a deal to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the Kansas Chiefs.
Not so fast, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
"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," Florio writes.
Florio said the source also told him the Redskins "are in the pettiness game," and pointed out two ways they could make things difficult for Cousins.
Washington could put the franchise tag on Cousins, locking his salary in place, and then trade him once the Smith trade becomes official.
However, if the Redskins put the franchise tag on Cousins, he can mess them up in two ways. One, he could sign the tender immediately, which would result in a $34-million cap hit once the league year begins. That would make it very difficult to complete the Smith deal.
Cousins also could refuse to sign a long-term deal with a team interested in trading for him, which would basically guarantee no one would trade for him.
The Redskins could later rescind the franchise tag in the hopes of ruining Cousins' market value, but that also could complicate their offseason plans simply to spite Cousins.
Washington could put a transition tag on Cousins, but then another team could sign him to an offer sheet and pry him away, leaving the Redskins with no compensation.