Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports



On Tuesday, the Washington Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, which means that any negotiations for the quarterback must go through them. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, that is exactly what is going on. Rapoport is reporting that Washington and the San Francisco 49ers are discussing the possibility of a trade for Cousins. What is interesting is that a rare three-way trade may be in the talks – a deal that might also send Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to Washington.



Rapoport reported on NFL Network that Dallas is not yet involved in the trade discussions. If Washington likes the terms of a potential trade with San Francisco, they would bring Dallas into the discussions to see if Romo could be part of the deal.

It has been reported that the Cowboys would release Romo, so getting something in return for the quarterback would be more ideal. However, they may have reservations about trading Romo to a division rival.

Ian Rapoport: Three-way trade involving Kirk Cousins, Tony Romo could soon be discussed

As for Cousins, the issue with the exclusive franchise tag is that it prohibits the 49ers from speaking to the quarterback. With that restriction in place, the 49ers would have no way of knowing if they would be able to sign Cousins to a long-term contract.

While the 49ers are not allowed to discuss options with the quarterback, ESPN has reported that Cousins would be open to signing a long-term deal with San Francisco. "The source told ESPN that Cousins would not sign a long-term deal if he were traded anywhere else -- right now," wrote John Keim of ESPN. "But much of that is based on a desire to be in San Francisco and a lack of familiarity with other teams. Cousins is a stickler for routine and familiarity. He would not block a deal to another team, but any team that was to trade for him would have to do a lot of convincing in order to get him to sign a long-term contract."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Washington when Cousins was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. ESPN reported that Cousins loved playing for Shanahan, who is a detail-oriented coach – an aspect that the quarterback admires.

Cousins had the best season of his career in 2016, completing 67-percent of his passes for 4,917 yards and throwing 25 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. In 2015, Cousins threw 29 touchdowns while completing nearly 70-percent of his passes.

In 2016, Cousins earned the 8th-highest overall grade among NFL quarterbacks from advanced statistics site Pro Football Focus.

On Friday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick officially opted out of the remaining year of his contract. That means that once the new league year begins on March 9, he will be free to sign with any interested NFL team.

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