Determining which team that will be could be a major story line around the league next spring.
Cousins will play under the franchise tender for the second straight season after going to his first Pro Bowl last season.
What happens after that has become anyone's guess. Perhaps Kirk Cousins plays well enough to change the mind of the Redskins front office.
King is correct that Washington could use the franchise tag on Cousins for an unprecedented third straight year - but at an excessive cost.
Ultimately, Washington wanted to see more from Cousins and the franchise tag served as a one-year "prove it" deal.
Kirk Cousins will not rule the Washington Redskins, even if both sides can not come to an agreement by the deadline.
Allen said the team offered Cousins $53 million in fully guaranteed money, which would've been the highest amount for a quarterback in National Football League history.
Another part of Schefter's report is that he's "open" to still negotiating with the Redskins after the 2017 season. The two sides had until 4 p.m. Monday to negotiate a different contract. Cousins earned almost $20 million playing under the franchise tag in 2016. And the big question there is I believe the 49ers would love to sign Kirk Cousins in 2018. "You don't necessarily have to go out of your way to avoid the tag".
Cousins turns 29 next month. As the starting quarterback for the past two seasons, Cousins has compiled a 17-14-1 record for a team that hadn't had back-to-back winning seasons since 1996-1997, completed 68.3 percent of his passes and thrown for over 9,000 yards.
The 49ers and new coach Kyle Shanahan, of course, have always been linked to Cousins given their history in Washington, and San Francisco also has a glaring need for a long-term fix at quarterback. And indeed, the 49ers would likely be the top contender. Another former Redskins offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, is the first-year head coach for the Los Angeles Rams. Either way, unless the Redskins backed up the truck, Cousins didn't really have an incentive to sign anything that he wasn't comfortable with because of his options next offseason. But it certainly would behoove Cousins to encourage as many bidders as possible, if and when the time comes.
Three quarterbacks have been in the news recently. If they do not, the two parties will not be able to reopen negotiations until after the completion of the 2017 season. There will be a robust market for Cousins. But hope from the Redskins about a long-term deal with Cousins is not being backed up by anything that has gone public. The first way is that Cousins is set up to earn a huge, long-term deal following the season. He could have a relatively unproductive season. Griffin's presence overshadowed Cousins, who was treated like an afterthought while Griffin got second and third chances despite struggling with injuries and performance.
But those risks are mitigated. Cautionary tale, you say?
Earlier in the offseason, Cousins said that he did not demand a trade away from the team, but instead asked about the franchise's plans after having the franchise tag placed on him.
The deadline is by no means the end of the Kirk Cousins saga.