With Kirk Cousins at quarterback, the Washington Redskins had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1997. However, the team still seems dead set against offering Cousins a long-term contract that pays him like a franchise quarterback. After Washington slapped him with the franchise tag for the second year in a row, ESPN reports that Cousins has asked the team to trade him.

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins franchise tag

The NFL franchise tag allows a team to keep free agents by paying them a specific amount set by the NFL instead of signing them to a long-term deal.

The team can do this to only one player per year and other teams could sign them but would lose considerable draft picks by doing so. The Washington Redskins assigned Kirk Cousins with the franchise tag last season after he led the team to the NFC East title. He responded by playing strong again and delivering a second winning season. The Redskins rewarded him by refusing another long-term deal and using the franchise tag again. In 2016, it cost the Redskins $19.9 million and this year it will cost them $23.9 million. While the Redskins are paying Cousins huge amounts of money, he seems to realize that Washington still doesn't want to commit to him at quarterback.

The 2017 Washington Redskins

Dan Snyder told Kirk Cousins that the Washington Redskins are not likely to trade him. That is interesting because the only way the Redskins could franchise him in 2018 would be to pay around $30 million and they won't do that. Since they can't franchise him a third time, they will have to pay him whatever he asks for or he will leave anyway.

The Redskins just gave head coach Jay Gruden a nice contract extension but this year will be hard in Washington. Cousins will want to play well to increase his 2018 free agent market value but is losing his two top receivers in DeSean Jackson, who is signing with Tampa Bay, and Pierre Garcon, who is probably headed to San Francisco. The Redskins are playing an interesting game because they aren't committing to Kirk Cousins and will almost definitely lose him next year and get nothing in return.