The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins last month for the second straight season, ensuring the two-year starter will receive $23.94 million in 2017. Cousins has yet to sign the tag, leading to questions about his intentions, including whether he'd consider demanding a trade or sitting out. All of that may be on the table, but for now, he's expected to put pen to paper.
This report came several hours after a different report via ESPN said Cousins appealed directly to Redskins owner Dan Snyder for a trade.
Head coach Jay Gruden and team president Bruce Allen have stated in recent weeks the desire for a long-term contract with Cousins.
"We're hoping for a long-term deal with him," Allen told Breaking Burgundy at the NFL Combine last week. "That's what we're going to work towards. Last year we tried. We didn't get that done. This year we'll get it done."
That might not be what Cousins desires. San Francisco hired Kyle Shanahan as its head coach. He served as Washington's offensive coordinator when the Redskins drafted Cousins in 2012. The two remain close and numerous reports have the two potentially reuniting if a trade can be worked out with the Redskins.
The rise in cost for a third Franchise tag makes it likely Cousins would enter free agency in 2018, meaning Washington would lose its quarterback for a mere conditional mid-round draft pick. They can acquire more now with a trade, but that would likely mean a step back in 2017.
Cousins rewrote the franchise record book over the last two seasons, but going forward he won't have top targets Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. The free agent receivers signed with San Francisco and Tampa Bay respectively on Thursday.