Per a league source, there’s a growing belief in some circles that the Browns will try to acquire Cousins via trade. Another source said that, when Cousins chose to sign his franchise tender last week, the one concern he had is that, after the tender is signed, he can be traded. He specifically was concerned about being traded to Cleveland.
Although it has been reported that Cousins would accept a trade only to the 49ers, his one-year, $23.94 million contract can be traded to the Browns or any other team, if the Browns or any other team is willing to trade for a guy who is under contract for only one year.
The Browns have also been linked to a possible trade with the Patriots for Jimmy Garropolo for a 1st and 2nd round pick. They cut their starting QB Robert Griffin III last week, and traded for Brock Osweiler, in a move to trade cap money for an additional 2nd round pick. The rest of their QB depth chart consists of Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.
Various reports have said Cousins only wants to go to the 49ers if he was traded(and wants to go there if he's ever a free agent). Mike Florio says that Cousins had the Browns in mind when he signed the franchise tag, and not in a good way. Signing the tag allows the Redskins to trade him if they want, and are able to find a trade partner. The Browns are stacked with picks and cap money to make a deal.
Cousins went on Adam Schefter's podcast to say that despite a Chris Mortensen report, he didn't request a trade from Dan Snyder. Cousins did ask Snyder if the team was planning on trading him, and left feeling like the team wanted him long term. The Redskins might want him long term, but their last reported offer of $20 million per year isn't going to make it happen. The Redskins need to increase their offer, or they face another year of rumors and speculation, and possibly another game of tag next season.