Redskins use non-exclusive franchise tag on Kirk Cousins

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Matt Hazlett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Washington Redskins have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, the team confirmed Tuesday.

Coming off a breakout 2015 season, in which he led Washington to a playoff appearance as a first-year starter, Cousins was virtually guaranteed to receive either the franchise or transition tag designation.

He and the Redskins will likely discuss a long-term extension in the offseason, but the non-exclusive tag will also allow Cousins to negotiate with other teams.

Should he sign a deal elsewhere, and Washington declines its right to match any offer sheet, the team would receive two first-round picks as compensation.

Such a development is always considered unlikely, but Cousins represents a unique case.

His status as a still-unproven quarterback almost certainly has Washington hesitant to give him a long-term deal. It's thus possible the club would weigh its options were a significant trade package put on the table.

Cousins started all 16 games after beating out both Robert Griffin III and Colt McCoy for the starting job, completing 69.8 percent of his passes for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.