Making an appearance on the “Know Them From Adam” podcast with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the franchise-tagged quarterback explained Tuesday that the only conversation along those lines came when he asked about the team’s plans for him.
“I did inquire if there was any interest in trading me to get an understanding of their perspective,” Cousins said, according to ESPN’s John Keim. “The answer I got back was Mr. Snyder communicated his belief in me and desire for me to remain a Redskin.”
Cousins’ clarification was in response to a recent report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, which had indicated that the quarterback was told by Redskins owner Dan Snyder not to get his hopes up after appealing for a trade.
The way he tells it, Cousins was taken by surprise when asked about the would-be demand by a store employee while shoe-shopping with his wife.
“I laughed and thought, ‘I don’t know where that comes from because that wasn’t the case,'” Cousins said. “Somehow it got twisted to where an employee of the store is using the word ‘demanded.’ That’s not the approach I took.”
Cousins has already signed the franchise tag for the second time in as many years, and he’s now eligible to be traded as a result.
It remains to be seen whether the Redskins will even entertain such a move, but a continued lack of progress towards a long-term deal hints that it’s at least within the realm of possibility.
Cousins is tentatively scheduled to play the 2017 season under a salary of $23.94 million. Using the franchise tag for a third consecutive time next offseason would be a difficult move for Washington to justify, as the required 44-percent pay raise would bump him up to a staggering $34.47 million.
The 28-year-old has all the leverage for a contract among the league’s top signal-callers after taking another major step in his development this past season. To this point, the Redskins have been unwilling to meet that price tag.
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