RED­SKINS GIVE COUSINS EX­CLU­SIVE FRAN­CHISE TAG

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS -

The Wash­ing­ton Red­skins placed their fran­chise tag on quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, but this time it came with a twist. The Red­skins used the ex­clu­sive tag, which means it comes with a oneyear guar­an­teed salary of roughly $24 mil­lion. The sides have un­til July 15 to try to work out a longterm deal. Cousins is not al­lowed to ne­go­ti­ate with any other team. Un­der the non-ex­clu­sive tag — which the Red­skins used last sea­son — Cousins could have tried to swing a deal with a new team, though an out­side suitor would

have had to for­feit two firstround draft picks to the Red­skins. This keeps Cousins off the free agent mar­ket, which opens March 9. Spec­u­la­tion cen­tered around the San Fran­cisco 49ers and his close re­la­tion­ship with new coach Kyle Shana­han as a pos­si­ble desti­na­tion. While it’s un­sure if the 49ers would have con­sid­ered giv­ing up a hefty sum for Cousins, this elim­i­nates any chance of that hap­pen­ing, un­less the Red­skins trade him, which is still an op­tion. But no team would be in­ter­ested in any deal un­less the quar­ter­back first agreed to a long-term con­tract.

Adrian Peter­son will be­come a free agent af­ter the Min­nesota Vik­ings de­clined to pick up the star run­ning back’s $18 mil­lion con­tract op­tion. He had been a Vik­ing since 2007.

The New York Jets in­formed seven-time Pro Bowl cor­ner­back

Dar­relle Re­vis that he will be re­leased, the team an­nounced in a re­lease. Re­vis, 31, will be an un­re­stricted free agent start­ing March 9. He still faces charges of ag­gra­vated as­sault, rob­bery, con­spir­acy and mak­ing ter­ror­is­tic threats af­ter his al­leged role in an al­ter­ca­tion in Pitts­burgh in Fe­bru­ary.

All- pro Eric Berry and the Kansas City Chiefs reached a sixyear, $78 mil­lion con­tract ($40 mil­lion guar­an­teed) that will make him the NFL’s rich­est safety, a per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion told USA TO­DAY Sports. The per­son was not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly since the deal was not yet of­fi­cial. The Chiefs also re­leased run­ning back

Ja­maal Charles on Tues­day. Charles has had five 1,000-yard rush­ing sea­sons in his nine-year ca­reer but was ham­pered by in­juries the last two sea­sons.

JEROME MIRON, USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Kirk Cousins threw 25 TD passes and 12 in­ter­cep­tions last sea­son.

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