He loved playing for new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan when he was the Washington Redskins' offensive coordinator. Shanahan is a detail-oriented coach, which meshes well with Cousins' mind-set.
The deadline for teams to use the franchise tag is Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. It is expected the Redskins will use the designation on Cousins for the second consecutive year. Once Cousins signs the tag, he can no longer talk to other teams. However, the Redskins could give Cousins permission to speak with another team and then try to work out a trade.
The source told ESPN that Cousins would not sign a long-term deal if he were traded anywhere else -- right now. Much of that is based on a desire to be in San Francisco and a lack of familiarity with other teams. Cousins is a stickler for routine and familiarity. He would not block a deal to another team, but any team that were to trade for him would have to do a lot of convincing in order to get him to sign a long-term contract.
Cousins' current stance could limit the market for Washington, but it's not impossible that Cousins would eventually agree to be traded to a team other than the 49ers. If the 49ers don't make a contract offer to Cousins' liking and decide to pursue another quarterback, Cousins would have no choice but to accept a trade to another team or stay in Washington for at least one more year.
The Redskins can negotiate with Cousins on a long-term deal until July 15. At that point, there can be no deal struck until after the Redskins' season. Cousins would make $23.94 million under the tag.
Cousins, 28, passed for 4,917 yards, 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for Washington (8-7-1) in 2016, and he played in the Pro Bowl for the first time.