NFL Trade Rumors: Kirk Cousins Trade Possible As Redskins Eye Deshaun Watson?

Could a Kirk Cousins trade still be in the works? While things have calmed down a bit on the Kirk Cousins trade rumor front, don’t be surprised if they begin to heat up once again as the NFL Draft nears. Ninerswire indicates that Cousins signed his exclusive franchise tag and is expected to play for Washington in 2017. However, that doesn’t mean that the Washington brass aren’t interested in dealing the former Michigan State quarterback.

At the moment, the Redskins are still looking for a new GM following the firing of Scot McCloughan. McCloughan’s dismal from the team could have a huge bearing on if the Redskins will try to sew up Cousins to a long-term deal or if they decide not to make an offer at all and look to deal him away before or during the 2017 season.

Cousins has made it clear that he prefers to stay in Washington and was hoping for a big contract from the Washington Redskins for well over a year now. However, it doesn’t seem like the Redskins are sure if they want to invest big money long term in their current starting QB. Could that rumor of Cousins being traded to the San Francisco 49ers (and reunited with Kyle Shanahan) still happen?

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Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that he would love Kirk Cousins to be his QB in San Francisco. [Image by Tim Warner/Getty Images]

Cousins’ future with the Redskins should become a lot clearer by July 15 or sooner, and here is why. The first indication will come at the 2017 NFL Draft. With several NFL Mock Drafts reporting that Washington could be looking to find Cousins’ replacement, Redskins fans will have a much better grasp of where this team is headed in terms of a quarterback.

In CBS Sports’ latest NFL Mock Draft, they have Washington selecting Clemson’s Deshaun Watson as the No. 17 pick overall in the first round. If that happens, then you have to believe that the Redskins are definitely planning to move on from the Kirk Cousins era.

“The Redskins and Kirk Cousins are clearly heading for a divorce sooner or later…”

It’s hard to believe that it was just a few years ago when the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft. Cousins was supposed to be an insurance policy for Griffin III, and the Redskins’ QB situation was allegedly set for many seasons to come. Fast forward to today, and before the 2017 season is complete, the Skins could have a roster that doesn’t include either one.

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TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates after throwing a 2-yard game-winning touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game 35-31 at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

If Washington doesn’t draft Watson or any other QB in the upcoming NFL Draft, then the next step in the Kirk Cousins saga will be played out on or before July 15.

That is the day that any club that has a designated franchise player for the upcoming season can sign him to a multiyear contract or extension. If a long-term deal isn’t reached by this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2017 season, and such a contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

In other words, if the Washington Redskins are interested in keeping Cousins in D.C., they will make on offer on or before the July 15 deadline. If they don’t look for some type of deal to go down before the 2017 NFL season concludes, Cousins has made it clear that he will test the free-agency market in 2018. In his last two seasons as the Washington Redskins starting quarterback, Cousins has thrown for over 9,000 yards and 54 touchdowns.

Stay tuned NFL fans, this story is far from over.

[Featured Image by Robb Carr/Getty Images]