Kawakami: 49ers are playing the 2018 waiting game for Kirk Cousins

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According to reports out of the nation's capital, Washington Redskins quarterback, Kirk Cousins is not expected to sign a long term deal with the team by Monday's 4pm deadline. But Cousins remains open to a long-term deal after the season. With both Cousins and Johnson scheduled to play under one-year deals as a result of their respective franchise tags, the attention will now begin to shift toward the Pittsburgh Steelers and veteran running back Le'Veon Bell. However, Cousins would not be able to negotiate with other teams.

The 49ers' quarterback of the future literally won't be a 49er until the future, though the clock on that is about to really start ticking. No team has ever placed a franchise tag on a QB for two straight seasons, let alone a third... the odds of this happening in 2018 dip drastically. Washington will then have to watch and see if Cousins can go out and produce another strong statistical season and perhaps even compete for a playoff spot. It could roll over ita unspent room into next season, giving it more than enough ammunition to lure Cousins in free agency.

Yes, it is very possible that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have had their eyes on Cousins from the moment they signed their dual six-year deals to run the 49ers, and the major theoretical impediment to that plan was a potential long-term deal between Cousins and Washington this offseason. That's a nice pay raise for the veteran quarterback, but it's not exactly what he wanted when it came to contract negotiations with the franchise. But it would take the most expensive one-year deal in league history.

Naturally, this has prompted the idea Cousins hits the free-agent market in 2018 and would likely be one of the highest paid quarterbacks to be targeted.

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