The New York Jets are one of the favorites to land Kirk Cousins. Although, that’s assuming one important factor.
Vegas betters have made it clear that the New York Jets are one of the leading favorites to land soon-to-be free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins.
The expectation is that since the Washington Redskins traded for veteran quarterback Alex Smith, Cousins would be let go. That seemed especially true since part of that trade to acquire Smith included a $94 million contract extension.
The Redskins have $49 million in cap space (not including the Smith ramifications), according to Over the Cap. So, of course, Cousins is going to free agency, right? Well, apparently that’s not guaranteed.
Kirk Cousins might not be so free after all…
Washington is considering placing franchise tag on Cousins to be able to trade him, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/keNB2pGApD
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 4, 2018
Oh silly Redskins, tricks are for kids.
The Redskins are attempting to play an extremely dangerous game of chicken. If the team decides to tag Cousins, it’ll cost the team $34.5 million. To reiterate, that’s on top of what the Redskins have already doled out for Smith ($94 million).
That would put the Redskins in a very restricted position. So to combat the Redskins’ games, I’m requesting collusion from the other 30 teams in the league.
Let’s not play the Redskins games. Let’s call their bluff. They want to tag Cousins and hold their own franchise hostage like the princess locked away in the castle, so be it.
The Redskins aren’t only jeopardizing their season next year, but they’re potentially sacrificing compensation, they would receive if they just let Cousins go.
As Adam Schefter detailed in his report above for ESPN:
“If Washington decided to pull the franchise tag to get Cousins’ contract off its salary cap, it would lose the right to recoup a 2019 compensatory draft pick that it would get if Cousins were able to leave right away as a free agent.”
Here’s my prediction …
If the team uses the franchise tag on Cousins, they’re going to restrict moves the team can make in free agency thus using the 2018 season as a ritual animal sacrifice to the football gods. I don’t think the team is willing to do that, so let the Redskins do it.
But it requires integrity from the other 30 teams. This is a staring contest. The first to blink loses. If another team is willing to cough up a future third round pick, they can steal Cousins from the castle he’s locked away in. This would allow the Redskins to win and possibly set the franchise tag and trade precedent for future players in the same position as Cousins.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that this staring contest has a time limit. The Redskins are only allowed to franchise tag a player three times/years in a row. After that, the player is allowed to reach unrestricted free agency.
And guess what?
The third time is the charm. If the Redskins tag Cousins this season for the $34.5 million price tag, they can’t tag him next year which means if teams wait long enough, the only thing they’ll have to give up is boatloads of cash, not additional unnecessary compensation to the Redskins.
While the intrigue of locking up the quarterback position is certainly there for any of these teams, we must hold strong because the Redskins screwed up and it’s time for them to pay for their actions.
The Redskins are destined to lose this game of chicken, so let’s not tempt fate and let them lose it.