Redskins will consider putting a franchise tag on Kirk Cousins

Tagging Cousins would carry a considerable risk, even costing them a 2019 compensatory pick, should they realize they've made a mistake in tagging the quarterback and pull the offer.

Kahron Spearman

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Washington Redskins are considering franchise-tagging quarterback Kirk Cousins to trade him - so that they can recoup some assets they gave up in getting Alex Smith from the Chiefs.

Washington could be angling to control where Cousins could go, by preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent and pulling a draft pick or two out of the team that signs him.

While perfectly legal, it's fraught with pitfalls and pettiness. 

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. So tagging Cousins would undoubtedly carry risk

There are significant issues with the idea, mainly that if they officially offer him the tag, and he declines it, Washington could be in a world of hurt. Cousins potentially could wait months, and then the franchise tag salary slot - $34.5 million - would be slapped onto Washington's cap.

He could also tell the teams Washington talks to that he won't sign long-term, deterring teams from wanting to give up valuable picks for an expensive rental. 

Teams must designate franchise players by February 20. 

Of note - there's an unusual and eyebrow-raising commercial featuring Cousins and an actor playing Donald Trump out and making the rounds.