- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kirk Cousins signed the Washington Redskins‘ franchise-tag tender on Thursday, officially ensuring his return to the team in 2016. 

The Redskins‘ quarterback posted a picture of him signing the deal on his Twitter and Sqor Sports accounts, with the caption, “I’m told this is the final step in making it officially official. I am back with the Redskins for 2016! Thrilled for the opportunity! Let’s get to work!”

On Tuesday, the Redskins elected to use the non-exclusive franchise tag to retain Cousins, who was set to become a free agent on March 9, the start of the new league year. General manager Scot McCloughan said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis that the two sides were trying to negotiate a long-term deal, but they were unable to do so before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

The two sides will have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. If they can’t reach an agreement, Cousins will play the 2016 season under the franchise tag, which is valued at $19.95 million.

Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, Cousins would have been allowed to negotiate with other teams, however the Redskins would’ve had an opportunity to match the offer. If they did not, they would’ve received two first-round picks as compensation.

Signing the tender not only ensures that Cousins will return to the Redskins in 2016, but also allows him to participate in offseason activities.

Cousins, who made $660,000 in the final season of his rookie deal in 2015, led the Redskins to the playoffs in his first year as the starter. He threw for a franchise-record 4,166 yards along with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

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