For Kansas City, Andy Reid and the front office are ready to hand the keys of the offense over to Patrick Mahomes, a player who KC spent a first round pick on in last year's draft. Schefter reports that instead of just taking the 2019 compensatory pick they would get if Cousins left in free agency, the Redskins might try to flip the Pro Bowler for a 2018 pick.
Cousins does have some control and he could force Washington into an uncomfortable situation if they place the franchise tag on him. How might that work? Remember, franchise tags can't be placed on players until February 20, but the Smith trade can't be made official until the new league year begins March 14. And the moment he does that, his $34.478 million salary for 2018 would become fully guaranteed.
The Browns, with more than $110 million in cap space, can make him the best offer.
Although all signs point to Smith taking over as the starter for the Redskins, that might not stop the team from placing the franchise tag on Cousins for the third consecutive year, according to Schefter. But if Cousins doesn't want to play there, he could tell Washington and the new team that he isn't going to sign a long-term contract, which likely would sink the trade. Cousins will undoubtedly be the most sought-after quarterback on the free agent market this summer. However, you have names like Cousins and Drew Brees that could be interesting names to follow for teams needing a big name to lead their huddle.
From Cousins' perspective, he perhaps would not want to turn this into a drawn-out process, because that might mean missing spring practices (which are valuable for an incoming quarterback) with his new team. He tweeted the tag was "negotiated into CBA for teams to have "intent" to sign players long term". So tagging Cousins would undoubtedly carry risk.
During his interviews on Radio Row on Monday, Cousins repeated much of what he said at his end-of-season event with 106.7 The Fan last month about winning being more important than money and the ball being in the Redskins' court. The possibility of having to trade just to get him doesn't make him any more desirable. Could the Jets be in the mix? There's a chance that Cousins could be the quarterback that's missing for each of those teams, putting them all on level footing. Washington is 44th in Round 2.
A blockbuster trade occurred in the National Football League and it has major implications for many teams, whether they were directly involved or not.
Secondly, Cleveland owns the first and fourth pick in the draft. 33, 35, and 63 in Round 2. However, the two teams could agree to other picks.