Redskins don’t plan to franchise tag Cousins for 3rd consecutive year

To little surprise, the Washington Redskins aren't planning on using the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins for a third consecutive year.

The Redskins agreed to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 2018 third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller on Jan. 30, a move that can only become official on March 14 - the first day of the league's new year.

Cousins became the first quarterback in NFL history to receive the franchise tag in consecutive seasons in February 2017, and the Redskins would have potentially been forced to pay him a gargantuan sum had he elected to stay with the team.

Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams appeared to confirm the team's decision to allow Cousins to test free agency.

"I don't think so," Williams said to ESPN's John Keim. "But it's not too late. But we haven't really talked about that. The media had come up with those scenarios more than what we've talked about it because I can't remember one meeting where we talked about the possibility of tagging him."

Williams and the Redskins appeared to have reached closure with Cousins, defending their decision to aggressively pursue Smith.

"Kirk has been here for six years and I'm sure there have been opportunities that deals could have been worked out," Williams said. "It hasn't worked out. As a team, you've got to always put yourself in position ... in case what might not happen. We can't afford to let it come to the 12th hour and Kirk decide not to come back and leave us with the bag. We got to make decisions that are best for the organization and whatever decision we make or made, that's what we've got to live with."

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