Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Sam Bradford to a two-year, $36 million deal not long after the Washington Redskins applied the franchise tag to their starter, Kirk Cousins, which will pay him a shade under $20 million for the 2016 season.
Apparently, the timing might not have been a coincidence.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Redskins were genuinely concerned that the Eagles would have pursued Cousins had they had the chance—that is, if they didn’t tag him or only used the transition tag. Their use of the franchise tag effectively locked Cousins up, leaving the Eagles to bring back Bradford.
In his first full season as starter, Cousins broke the Redskins’ single-season franchise records for both completions and yardage, and won Offensive Player of the Week honors twice. He finished with 4,166 passing yards, 29 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.