INDIANAPOLIS -- The topic of the week is an easy one: quarterbacks. Yes, there are other Washington Redskins stories to discuss, but the pressing one right now involves both Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III. So here we go. @Cwatt80, @dchomer4life, @jflora615.
If trade and tag Cousins where do they go: First of all, they're not going to trade him (that's based on talking to people with the Redskins). Consider this: If the Redskins, who absolutely like him, don't believe in him enough at this point to pay him, say, $20 million a year then could you see another team doing so -- and I'm not positive that's the asking price; just throwing that number out there. Regardless the deal Cousins wants is more than Washington is willing to pay and he'd want something similar from another team. They'd also not only pay a high amount, but then trade multiple draft picks? It doesn't make sense. If the Redskins tag him, I do think they'll draft a quarterback if they like one -- whether in the later rounds or even in rounds 2 or 3. Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg and Cardale Jones are quarterbacks they've interviewed -- I don't know how much they like any of these players so don't read too much into it. But the bottom line is, they must have a Plan B. If, in your scenario, they traded him you could not draft someone in the later rounds. You would have to pick someone high in the draft. Again, though, I was told flatly there'd be no trade.
Make him prove it: The Redskins absolutely want a long-term deal, but they want it at a good price. So it's not as if they want to make Cousins prove anything. But to get the kind of money the market might dictate now? Yes, they would want to see another year of comparable production. I'm not a fan of the franchise tag in this situation because it could end up costing Washington a lot of money in the long run -- and it adds several million to their cap this season. But if they're not comfortable with the amount being discussed now -- and they're not -- then it's a necessary gamble.
Is the transition tag better?: I don't think so and nobody I've talked to outside the organization does either. But it is a possibility. Off the top of my head, I don't remember any team ever using the transition tag on a quarterback. The cost is lower, of course. But the Redskins then let another team do their bidding and structure it in a way that, if they do match, it could leave them in a bad spot for a couple seasons. Of course, if the market does not unfold the way Cousins hopes, then it could work. I will say again, the Redskins like him and know him better than anyone. There are desperate teams for quarterbacks, but I wonder how high someone would be willing to go for Cousins -- did he impress other teams enough in the last 10 games to warrant that sort of deal? That's not to say someone wouldn't give him that money, but if the Redskins have a wait-and-see approach, then if I'm another team I'd have a little pause, too.