Kirk Cousins signs franchise tender with Washington

Kirk Cousins signed his franchise tag.

Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, announced the news Friday morning via Twitter.

The Washington Redskins slapped the exclusive-rights franchise tender on the quarterback, worth $23.94 million. The exclusive nature of the tag meant he could not negotiate a long-term contract with another team.

Sides have until July 15 to hammer out a potential long-term solution, or the 28-year-old will once again play under the tag. After earning just under $20 million on the tag last season, Cousins will bank at least $43.89 million in guaranteed money for two years of work.

On Thursday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted that Cousins intended to sign his tag soon and be a "good soldier," understanding the Redskins are unlikely to trade him. Some speculated the sixth-year pro could sit out most of the offseason without signing the tender in an effort to leverage a trade out of Washington.

Signing the tag, however, at least opens the possibility of a trade, even if those options have dwindled. The 49ers are reportedly not interested in paying the price it might take to pry Cousins away from the Redskins this season -- plus handing him a massive contract. San Francisco, who has been heavily connected to Cousins thanks to his relationship with Kyle Shanahan, could be comfortable waiting until 2018 to make a run if the QB finally hits the open market.

As Around The NFL's Chris Wesseling pointed out on Thursday, even with the Redskins organization in tumult, signing the tag also kicks ajar the possibility that a long-term solution in Washington might finally bloom a bud.

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