- Rob Carr/Getty
- The Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs reportedly agreed to a trade that will send Alex Smith to the Redskins.
- The deal ensures that Kirk Cousins will hit free agency after two years of playing on the franchise tag with the Redskins.
- Cousins is likely to fetch a big offer and be targeted by several teams in the offseason.
The Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to a shocking trade that will send Alex Smith to Washington D.C. to replace Kirk Cousins, according to Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star. ESPN also confirmed the trade.
The move is a clear indication that Washington will move on from Kirk Cousins, who is set to hit free agency for the third straight offseason. Cousins has played on the franchise tag the previous two seasons, the first quarterback to ever do so.
Washington will send a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs, but will recoup a third-round pick because they will lose a top-tier free agent in Cousins.
According to ESPN, Smith also agreed to a four-year extension with Washington averaging $23.5 million per year, with $71 million guaranteed.
The move comes as a shock after months of speculation about Cousins’ future in Washington. After both sides declined long-term deals the previous two offseasons, Cousins was set for an historic pay day, no matter what. If he received the franchise tag from Washington, he would have made $34 million next season or made $28 million if he played on the transition tag, which would have allowed other teams to make contracts offers for him. If the two sides had opted for a long-term deal, Cousins would likely have been paid in the same range as quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, and Matthew Stafford.
Cousins is still expected to fetch several big offers in free agency, as teams like the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and more look to solidify their quarterback position.
For the Chiefs, the decision to part with Smith comes after they drafted Patrick Mahomes II with the 10th pick in the 2017 draft. With only one year left on Smith’s contract, many felt the Chiefs would move on from the 33-year-old and hand the reins to the young, explosive Mahomes.