NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Redskins are considering the use of the transition tag on the quarterback, according to sources informed of their thinking.
Additionally, Rapoport added the Redskins are "keeping all options open" on the matter. The team has not ruled out tagging and trading Cousins, according to sources.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the development.
The transition tag is a one-year tender offer that is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may receive from another team.
If the Redskins used their exclusive franchise tag, it would act as a one-year tender offer for no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is greater.
Most crucially, the exclusive franchise tag gives the team all negotiating rights to the player. The deadline for applying the tag is March 1.
Will the Redskins actually consider parting ways with Cousins? It appears to be at least in the realm of possibility, but still consider it a surprise if Washington willfully separates from a potential franchise quarterback just entering his prime.