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Exploring the three tag options Redskins have available for Kirk Cousins

Exploring the three tag options Redskins have available for Kirk Cousins

Wednesday marks the opening of the two-week tag period around the NFL. That means the Redskins have three distinct options for Kirk Cousins, should they choose to go that route. A quick reminder of the differences between the three options below, and remember, teams have until 4 p.m. on March 1 to place a tag on a player. Teams can only use one tag per year. 

  • Exclusive - This tag gives the player no opportunity to negotiate with other teams. If the Redskins tag Cousins with the exclusive tag in 2017, he will be due roughly $24 million, a 20 percent increase of his $20 million salary in 2016.
  • Non-Exclusive - Under this tag, players can negotiate with any team in the league. Should the player and another team agree to terms, the incumbent team has the option to match the deal. If the incumbent team chooses not to match, they are due two first-round picks as compensation. This tag opens up the door for trade scenarios, and Washington used the non-exclusive tag on Cousins in 2016. Like the exclusive option, this tag would pay Cousins $24 million in 2017.
  • Transition - Similar to the non-exclusive tag, the transition tag allows a player to negotiate with any team in the NFL and the home team gets the option to match any new deal. Unlike the non-exclusive tag, the transition tag does not offer compensation for the incumbent team should the player reach a deal elsewhere. The transition tag in 2017 would bring the same 120 percent raise as the other tags for Cousins, but in 2018, it might be an advantage for the team. Should the 'Skins not reach a long-term deal with Cousins, the team could transition him next year and only pay another 120 percent raise, instead of the 144 percent required by the franchise tag in a third straight season. This year, however, the transition tag has little to no usefulness for Washington. 

Should the Redskins place any tag on Cousins, it's unlikely it would come on the first day the team has the option. Last year, Washington did not place the non-exclusive tag on Cousins until hours before the deadline. Once tagged, any player has until July 15 to work towards a long-term deal.

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Jay Gruden opens training camp with Kirk Cousins name joke

Jay Gruden opens training camp with Kirk Cousins name joke

On Wednesday afternoon, Jay Gruden took to the podium in Richmond, Va. to officially open the start of the Washington Redskins' training camp.

The head coach when through the particulars: injuries, conditioning, what he's expecting, etc.

But as Gruden is to do from time to time, he fired off a great zinger.

When asked by a media member about Kirk Cousins' one-year deal, Gruden asked for clarification.

"Kirk or Kurt? Kirk with a K?," he quipped in reference to the kerfuffle regarding Bruce Allen's pronunciation of Cousins' first name.

WATCH THE ENTIRE CLIP IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Gruden is a funny guy, a lot funnier than he propbably gets credit for.

Lets hope this continues, because recurring jokes are the best.

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A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

A possible trade destination for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

RICHMOND—The Redskins reportedly have been looking to trade running back Matt Jones since just before the draft. They may be able to find a partner just up I-95.

The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a running back after Kenneth Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this week. Terrance West, who gained 774 yards on the ground last year, is healthy and returning but the Ravens want more depth at the position.

That is where Jones could come into play. The 2015 third-round pick of the Redskins was the unquestioned starter going into last season. But fumbling and other issues prompted Jay Gruden to make him inactive the last nine games of the season. Jones further fell out of favor by skipping OTAs this year, a move he made on the advice of his now-former agent.

RELATED: Is Cousins overrated?

Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh said last year that he liked Jones “a lot” in the 2015 draft and he could well still be intrigued by his size and speed. ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley said that Jones could be a good fit for the Ravens in their current situation.

It should be noted that Hensley seems to be engaging in informed speculation and not relaying anything he heard from the team’s decision makers. He also speaks of the possibility of Baltimore picking up Jones after the Redskins release him.

But there could be some incentive for the Ravens to talk trade with the Redskins rather than waiting for Jones to hit the waiver wire. For one thing, getting their new back in sooner rather than later would benefit the Ravens, allowing the player to get acclimated to his new quarterback and offensive line. While the Redskins are inevitably going to cut Jones, they have no incentive to do so before the final cuts just before the start of the season. Perhaps the Ravens will want to give up some minor compensation, something like a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks, to get Jones in for the start of training camp.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

Hensley also mentions the possibility that the Ravens will look at former Redskin Alfred Morris for depth at running back. He currently is buried on the Cowboys’ depth chart behind All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden. However, there is the possibility of a domestic-violence suspension on the horizon for Elliott. While the suspension is likely to be brief the Cowboys probably don’t want to depart with any running back depth until the matter has been settled.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.