Could Browns work an overly complicated sign-and-trade for Kirk Cousins?

Could Browns work an overly complicated sign-and-trade for Kirk Cousins?”

ESPN reported Sunday that the Redskins are discussing using the franchise tag to retain Cousins for the goal of seeking a trade to recoup assets after agreeing to a deal earlier this week to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Via ESPN's Adam Schefter, Washington is considering placing the franchise tag on Cousins once again, with the idea of trading him and getting something in return for the 29-year-old. However, nothing will be too important until the actual free agency period gets rolling in March.

If the Redskins decide to tag Cousins, it could also turn out to be a huge fiasco, and not just for Washington. Kendall Fuller. Cousins will then become a free agent at the start of the league year.

Cousins does have some control and he could force Washington into an uncomfortable situation if they place the franchise tag on him. The longer the tender remains unsigned, the more likely Washington would have to count the projected $34.447 million cap hit (a 44% raise from last season's cap hit) Cousins would cost on his third franchise tag.

Thus, with the non-exclusive tag Kirk Cousins could seek offers from other teams.

By now, we know that the Washington Redskins traded for QB Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs. But the Jets probably won't get bang for their buck if they signed Cousins as a free agent.

Washington sent a third-round draft pick to the Chiefs in that deal. The Redskins, with Robert Griffin III on the roster and with uncertainty over Cousins' future, wanted to wait.

No matter what, just like every year, NFL's free agency period will cause some serious drama and excitement, and you won't want to miss any of the action when March rolls around.

The biggest assumption in all this is that the Browns would even be interested in signing Cousins in the first place, a scenario that seems less likely now that the club has brought former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan to town to work as a consultant.

Of course, team president Bruce Allen is also the same man that called Kirk Cousins "Kurt" Cousins last summer while explaining the team's lowball contract offer. Three teams were mentioned by National Football League execs as the most likely landing spots for Cousins. Broncos linebacker Von Miller is among the players who has talked about what Cousins would mean to his team this week. That gives the team an opportunity to draft a playmaker or two on offense to help Cousins. But if Cousins is valuing the chance to win as much as money, we have some clarity on what teams he'd prefer to sign with this summer.

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