All signs point to the Redskins again placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, and the March 1 deadline to make that move grows ever closer.
The franchise tag, however, will not prevent the organization from making a long-term deal with the quarterback.
CBS' Jason La Canfora expects the Redkins to get a deal done with Cousins sometime this summer.
"Unlike last year, the Redskins will make a legit concerted effort to sign him to a fair-market deal (unlike the low-ball overtures of a year ago). And by July 15, I suspect Cousins has a long-term deal with Washington agreed to."
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July 15 marks the deadline for teams to negotiate with tagged players. Last year, the Redskins hardly offered Cousins more money than was guaranteed by his one-year, $20 million contract dictated by the franchise tag.
This season, that figure jumps to $24 million.
There is some debate as to what will constitute a 'fair-market deal' for Cousins. Will the Redkins passer get to the Andrew Luck level, with more than $80 million guaranteed? Will the team use the non-exclusive tag and let Cousins see what his value is with other teams?
Nothing but questions and specualtion will dominate the Cousins conversation, at least until March 1 when the 'Skins are forced to use the tag or let the QB walk to the open market. That won't happen, but it is possible the team and Cousins reach a multi-year deal before then.
Don't plan on it. The NFL is a deadline driven league. March 1, and then July 15, could prove to be the most important days in the 2017 version of the Cousins saga.
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NEW ORLEANS -- The saga between the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins finally is over as the three-time All-Star was traded to the Pelicans on Sunday night to the host city for the 66th All-Star Game.
Cousins played just two minutes and made a quick exit from the game with the West All-Stars.
As soon as he made a three-point shot, his night was complete.
Cousins, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, was acquired for a 2017 first-round, second-round pick, Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans.
Before the deal was consummated, Kentucky teammate John Wall had this response on Cousins teaming up with Anthony Davis: "Wooooo."
He paused, took a sip of his sports drink, and gasped. "I'm just going to drink on that one."
Cousins never led the Kings, a dysfuctional franchise since the day he was drafted in 2010, to the postseason.
They'd never won more than 33 games with Cousins and were 24-33 this season.
Cousins had career averages of 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in six-plus seasons.
Davis scored 52 points Sunday en route to being the All-Star Game MVP.
The Pelicans are 23-24 at the halfway point, just two games back of the Nuggets — and one game back of the Kings — for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.