Redskins tag Cousins again
Chiefs sign Berry, cut Charles; Jets will release Revis.
The Washington Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on starting quarterback Kirk Cousins on Tuesday. The move came a day before the deadline for assigning tags to players.
Coming off a pair of statistically impressive seasons and a nearly $20 million salary under the franchise tag last season, Cousins is now in line for a one-year salary of about $24 million.
He also could wind up agreeing to a long-term contract with the Redskins sometime before July 15 — or they also could decide to trade him, perhaps to a QB-starved team such as the San Francisco 49ers, whose new coach is former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
By using the exclusive tag, the Redskins prevent Cousins from signing an offer sheet with another team. A year ago, they put a non-exclusive tag on him, and he immediately signed it.
From the time he came into the NFL as a fourthround draft pick out of Michigan State in 2012 — the same year Washington took Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall selection — Cousins and the Redskins have had an up-and-down relationship.
At first, he was a backup behind Griffin, only getting a chance to play when the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year would get injured. Eventually, Cousins got a chance to be the full-fledged starter in place of Griffin two years ago under coach Jay Gruden.
Still, even after his breakthrough 2015 season, including an NFC East title, Cousins was unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Washington.
If the Redskins end up paying Cousins the roughly $24 million under the tag, that would mean allocating nearly 15 percent of the expected $167 million salary cap. The team needs major upgrades on the defensive side of the ball and could end up losing top wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency.
Last season, Cousins broke his franchise record for passing yards, nearly eclipsing 5,000, and set another team mark with more than 400 completions, throwing for 25 TDs and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67. The Redskins lost four of their last six games to end up 8-7-1 and miss the playoffs.
In 46 regular-season NFL games, including 41 starts, Cousins has thrown for 12,113 yards, 72 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.
Chiefs: The team had to release one of the greatest players in franchise history so it could retain the heart and soul of their defense and solidify the future of their offensive line.
The Chiefs parted ways with four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, clearing more than $6 million in salary-cap space by drawing the curtain on an unforgettable era. And that money was put to quick use as the Chiefs finalized a $78 million, six-year deal with All-Pro safety Eric Berry and signed offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to a $41.25 million, five-year contract extension.
The flurry of roster moves also gives Kansas City flexibility to use the franchise tag on defensive tackle Dontari Poe. That decision must be made by today or Poe will become a free agent.
Vikings: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota’s all-time leading rusher, will be an unrestricted free agent when the market opens next week.
The Vikings declined to exercise their option for next season on Peterson’s contract. He was to make $18 million in 2017, what would have been an unwieldy hit to their salary cap.
General manager Rick Spielman says the team will “continue to have conversations” with Peterson’s representatives about the potential of re-signing Peterson, soon to be 32. He has played 10 seasons with the Vikings, who drafted him seventh overall out of Oklahoma in 2007.
He is coming off a meniscus tear in his right knee that limited him to 72 yards on 37 carries over parts of three games.
Peterson has led the NFL in rushing three times and amassed 11,747 rushing yards and 102 touchdowns.
Jets: The team told cornerback Darrelle Revis he will be released, ending a second tenure marked by a slip in play because of injuries and age.
Revis, 31, was scheduled to make $15 million, including a $2 million roster bonus, this season. The move will make Revis a free agent while also clearing about $9.3 million on the salary cap.
He is also facing aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men Feb. 12 in Pittsburgh, but his legal issues aren’t believed to have played a role in the team’s decision.
Browns: The team placed a second-round free-agent tender on running back Isaiah Crowell.The tender — worth $2.8 million — would allow the Browns to match any contract offer Crowell might get from another team. If the Browns decided not to match an outside offer, they would receive a second-round draft pick from Crowell’s new team.
The Vikings declined to pick up running back Adrian Peterson’s $18 million option; the Redskins gave Kirk Cousins (center) the franchise tag for the second year in a row, and the Chiefs and Eric Berry agreed to a six-year, $78 million deal.