The Chiefs have a trade in place with Washington, and will send Alex Smith to the NFC East team in exchange for a third-round pick in this year's draft and cornerback Kendall Fuller. That begins on March 14.
Cousins does have some control and he could force Washington into an uncomfortable situation if they place the franchise tag on him.
Cousins' camp could always tell possible trade partners that he won't sign a long-term deal with them either, choosing to hit free agency in 2019.
Cousins also could tell any of Washington's potential trade partners that he is unwilling to sign a long-term deal there, dampening that team's enthusiasm for surrendering a top draft pick for his services and holding up any potential trade.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden did not give Cousins a sense that the team would use its franchise tag on him when the two spoke last week, but others connected to the team insist that Washington is considering it.
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The Redskins are finally ready to move on from Cousins after agreeing on a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last week for quarterback Alex Smith, but might still be looking to capitalize on Cousins one last time before he is out the door. Paying top dollar and sending draft compensation to acquire Cousins simply isn't worth it.
"At the end of the day, I want to win", Cousins said Friday. I understood that. They wanted to do a deal, but because I wanted to go a little longer, it put them in a tough spot. If he wants to, Cousins can balk at signing off on the franchise tag designation.
A report surfaced on Sunday that the Washington Redskins are still considering placing the franchise tag on their once considered franchise QB. They believe it is nothing more than a business decision, a way for the team to try to get back at least the third-round pick it is trading to Kansas City for Smith.
Cousins may be interested in coming to a Cleveland team that is young and that has been stuck in a 20- some year rebuild.
First, and perhaps foremost, the Browns have about $112 million in cap space this offseason, which is good for second most to spend in the National Football League (behind the San Francisco 49ers, who are thought to throw a lot at mid- season acquisition Jimmy Garoppolo). There's a chance that Cousins could be the quarterback that's missing for each of those teams, putting them all on level footing.
"Anytime you hear positive things from your peers it means a great deal", Cousins told USA Today.