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Kirk Cousins signs his franchise tag and will likely play for Washington in 2017

Another year, another tag.

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins signed his franchise tag on Friday morning, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The team placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins back on Feb. 28. It’s the second consecutive season the team has placed the tag on Cousins, meaning he will earn nearly $24 million in 2017.

It also virtually guarantees that Cousins will be playing for Washington this upcoming season, despite his earlier desire to go elsewhere:

Plenty of rumors have surrounded Cousins and Washington recently. He’s been linked to the 49ers and a reunion with former OC Kyle Shanahan, but if that happens it probably won’t be for another season, especially after the 49ers signed Brian Hoyer.

Cousins signing the tag also gives the team a little bit of stability after a messy month. On Thursday evening, the team fired GM Scot McCloughan after two seasons. When he arrived, McCloughan was instrumental in the team benching Robert Griffin III and starting Cousins. In McCloughan’s first season, Cousins led them to an NFC East title.

There appeared to be a power struggle between McCloughan and team president Bruce Allen and head coach Jay Gruden. McCloughan wanted the team to sign Cousins to a long-term deal last season, instead of using the franchise tag.

Despite Washington’s issues, Cousins is coming off a statistically big year. He completed 67 percent of his passes, throwing for nearly 5,000 yards to go with 25 touchdowns against 12 picks. However, he lost two big weapons in free agency: wide receiver Pierre Garcon to the 49ers and deep threat DeSean Jackson to the Buccaneers. Earlier in the offseason, his offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, bolted to LA to become the head coach of Rams.

Now it looks like Cousins is staying in Washington for one more year. He'll get paid handsomely for it, but testing free agency is likely going to be on his agenda after next season.