What does it mean that Kirk Cousins has signed his exclusive franchise tag tender? Let’s take a look:
Cousins is now under contract with the Redskins—A franchise tag is essentially an offer for a contract. And, like any contract offer, it is just a piece of paper until two parties sign it. After a lapse of less than 24 hours (his 2016 franchise tag contract expired at 4:00 yesterday) he is again an employee of the Washington Redskins with all of the rights and obligations associated with that status.
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He must go to mandatory activities—That is one of the obligations that comes with being under contract. He must attend the mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 and he must report to training camp in late July.
He doesn’t have to attend voluntary activities—Just like any player can, he could opt to skip the team workouts that start in mid-April and the OTAs that start in late May. There is no indication that Cousins will do that, although some players do to try to get leverage for a new contract or to get traded.
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His $23.9 million salary is fully guaranteed—This means that if he plays this season on the franchise tag he will get 17 weekly paychecks worth about $1.4 million each (minus income taxed, FICA, health insurance, etc.).
The Redskins can trade him—Since he’s under contract, Cousins can be traded. That has been the subject of much talk lately and there is much more to it than just signing the tender. But without the player signing the tender nothing can happen so that preliminary step is done.