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Kirk Cousins signs franchise tender from Redskins

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The Washington Redskins won't have to worry about the possibility that Kirk Cousins will miss offseason work as a protest against the franchise tag.

Cousins accepted the organization's franchise tender on Wednesday, per agent Mike McCartney. The quarterback signed the tender Thursday morning.

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Once the tender is signed, Cousins will forfeit the right to negotiate with any team willing to consider the possibility of giving up two first-round draft picks in an effort to pry the former Michigan State star away from the Redskins.

The non-exclusive tag will pay Cousins $19.95 million, giving him the highest base salary of any quarterback in the league for the 2016 season.

It has been a whirlwind four months for Cousins, who was labeled "fool's gold" amid calls for his benching as recently as mid-October.

Cousins' contract-year timing was impeccable. Two scorching months with a healthy DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed forced the Redskins to keep him at a rate that will pay out eight times more this season alone than he has made in the previous four years combined.

If he can repeat his 2015 success against a tougher schedule this season, the Redskins will have no choice but to set him up for life with a long-term contract.

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