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How the Redskins could make a mess of the QB market
06 February 2018, 02:18 | Stacy Ballard
Kirk Cousins' price tag likely too high for Browns given they're poised to take a QB at No. 1
By doing so, it would allow the Redskins to trade Cousins instead of him walking away as an unrestricted free agent. As a result, he's preparing for the hoard of suitors likely to express interest in signing him.
"I was keeping an open mind", Cousins told Jones. "I'm in the information-gathering stage at this point. I would hope any team is interested". McCloughan recently shared he "doesn't see special" when evaluating Cousins, perhaps an indication of the franchise's view of the former Michigan State quarterback. They could make another that would have all sorts of potential ramifications for the offseason quarterback market.
Cousins spoke publicly about the trade for the first time Friday, telling USA Today's Mike Jones that, like everyone else, he was shocked by the move. Once that date passes, as it did for Cousins and the Redskins the last two years, players are stuck on a one-year deal. "I was talking with Coach (Charlie) Weis earlier and he made it clear, 'Hey, go where you can win.' That's exactly what the plan is".
Several teams drafting in the top 15 are considered to be in the quarterback market, including the Cleveland Browns.
The team has been searching for a long-term solution at quarterback for years, and Cousins - in his prime - could solve that problem. And the moment he does that, his $34.478 million salary for 2018 would become fully guaranteed.
Not only would that be an extremely disrespectful move to Cousins, it would also be a risky one. If Cousins departs in free agency, Washington would get a 2019 third-round compensatory pick (more on that in a bit). Thus, they could block him from staying in the NFC.
Cousins' salary would be worth approximately $34.5 million for 2018 if Washington does place the franchise tag on him, according to ESPN, and a trade would be complicated. The Redskins may still end up playing tag and trying to get some sort of compensation for Cousins. Of course, looking at free agency, there is only one top name that if he hits the market, will more than likely land the biggest National Football League contract ever for a quarterback.
There are other factors at play in the Cousins sweepstakes.
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