By Rick Snider
The Redskins are reportedly considering whether to place the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The hope would be to trade Cousins, allowing the team to get back some of what they agreed to give up to acquire Alex Smith from the Chiefs.
What a stupid idea.
It’s not good business — it’s petty, a sucker punch to the passer whom they’ve already unofficially replaced. Cousins outmaneuvered Washington over the past two years, getting a combined $44 million after being tagged twice. The Redskins can’t stand to watch Cousins go without extracting something in return.
If Washington goes through with this absurd move, which team president Bruce Allen supposedly floated with several league officials last week, only bad things will happen. Allen would be outsmarting himself again. Think back to 2012, when the team was penalized $36 million in cap space because Allen had tried to take advantage of a no-cap season in 2010, when he moved massive chunks of salary for Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall to that year’s payroll.
Using an unprecedented third straight tag on Cousins would cost $34.5 million against the salary cap regardless of whether he signs the deal. Cousins could start a stalemate by refusing to sign, giving the Redskins no money to sign free agents in the interim. That gives the quarterback the power to choke the team into...