After weeks of uncertainty, the Washington Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins Tuesday. Giving Cousins the exclusive tag means he will not be allowed to sign any offer sheets from other teams, the Redskins however will still be able to trade him if they choose. Placing the tag on Cousins gives Washington until July 15 to sign him to a long-term deal, if they can't reach a deal Kirk will play under the tag for a second consecutive season. Cousins passed for 4,917 yards (broke his own team record) and 25 touchdowns last season while being the first quarterback to ever play an entire year under the tag.

Redskins and Cousins

Since this is the second year in a row that the Redskins have placed the franchise tag on Cousins the price for one year will jump from $19.995 million last season, to $23.94 million in 2017. If you think that’s bad, if the Redskins can’t reach a long term agreement with Cousins it jumps to $34.47 million in 2018. Cousins still controls the leverage in this situation completely and the team will most certainly feel the pressure now more than ever to work things out with Cousins and his agent Mike McCartney. Cousins has repeatedly said he just wants to play "where he's wanted" and that if Washington gave him the tag, then they are showing they want him.

Rumors about a possible trade

Rumors have floated around the internet for a few months now about Cousins’ future. Those rumors have pointed towards him wanting to link up with former coach Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, Shanahan played a major hand in the drafting of Cousins.

The 49ers own the second overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and reportedly were willing to trade it in a deal with Washington. While there’s still a chance Cousins could end up elsewhere, giving him the exclusive tag is solid evidence that the Redskins want to keep Kirk.

The trade rumors will likely not go anywhere until either Kirk signs a new deal with Washington, or the draft is over.

Fact is, San Francisco has serious trade bait and a want for Kirk Cousins as their quarterback. Until the door is officially shut on Cousins, and all possibilities are exhausted, the 49ers interest will not go away. Couple that with the fact the Redskins front office has stopped speaking with the media, and you have a recipe fit for non-stop rumors.