Kirk Cousins signs franchise tender from Redskins

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.

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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