NFL Rumors: Los Angeles Rams may have interest in Kirk Cousins

If a long-term deal with the Washington Redskins can’t be worked out, Kirk Cousins has other options.

Over the last two seasons, Kirk Cousins has been among the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL. The Washington Redskins used the franchise tag on him a year ago, and to prove his worth, Cousins finished third in the league in passing yards (4,917).

Negotiations on a long-term contract may start at an annual value around this year’s franchise tag, which is projected to be just shy of $24 million, so the Redskins may use the tag again if they’re convinced they can find an equivalent quarterback at a fraction of that cost.

There are some indications Cousins doesn’t want to be in Washington long-term, and he wants the franchise tag for 2017. The Redskins could choose to do nothing and let Cousins hit the open market next month, but that’s highly unlikely. That doesn’t mean Cousins won’t have some options down the road, however, if he’d rather not stay with the Redskins beyond next season.

With former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in place as head coach, the San Francisco 49ers have been rumored to have interest in Cousins. But new Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay held that same post in Washington recently, and Albert Breer of MMQB has speculated the Rams are a landing spot for Cousins. That is of course predicated on 2016 No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff not progressing next season under a new coaching regime.

The Redskins hold most of the cards in this situation, at least in the short-term. A second use of the franchise tag will say everything about how they feel about him long-term, and Cousins will then almost surely hit the open market next offseason. The Rams and 49ers may be the top two teams in on Cousins at the point, but they wouldn’t be alone in the market for the likely top free agent quarterback in 2018.