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The Patriots finally traded Garoppolo, and yes, it impacts the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots finally traded Garoppolo, and yes, it impacts the Redskins

When trade news breaks, there often are ripple effects that go beyond the two teams involved in the trade. A deal made tonight between the 49ers and the Patriots has major implications for your Washington Redskins.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is moving from New England to San Francisco in exchange for a second-round pick in 2018. The deal may be good news for the Redskins' chances of keeping quarterback Kirk Cousins in Washington.

The 49ers have long been thought to be the primary destination for Cousins if and when he hits free agency due to Cousins’ close relationship with coach Kyle Shanahan. But the calculus has changed considerably. It seems unlikely that the 49ers would give up a second-round pick if they just planned on renting Garoppolo for half a season, a year that has them sitting at 0-8.

Like Cousins, Garoppolo could be a free agent in 2018. But the 49ers could have over $100 million in cap space, making it easy to either franchise tag him or sign him to a long-term deal. If they want to make Garoppolo, who turns 26 on Thursday, their long-term quarterback they certainly have the financial means to do so. And, again, giving up that second-round pick, which likely will be very early in the round, is a strong sign that they will want to keep him around.

Redskins fans who want Cousins to stay in Washington can’t necessarily breathe easy yet. If Cousins does become a free agent next year, there still will be plenty of teams willing to bid on a signal caller with three years of experience as a starter under his belt. But it was always thought that the 49ers would be the strong favorite for Cousins’ services due to Shanahan’s presence. With that option gone, the Redskins could have the inside track to retaining Cousins.

RELATED: REDSKINS NEEDED MORE FROM COUSINS?

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.