Kirk Cousins had just finished a workout in the hotel gym in Minneapolis when he saw the text messages on his phone, reports ESPN. And that's when he learned the news: Washington had agreed to a trade that ultimately ends the quarterback's career with the franchise.
The Redskins will receive quarterback Alex Smith once the trade is official on March 14. The Redskins will give the Kansas City Chiefs a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Cousins will then become a free agent at the start of the league year.
"I knew it would be a tough decision if it came down to deciding what to do in free agency," Cousins told ESPN's NFL Live on Friday. "So the fact that the decision was made for me gave me relief. It certainly was tough emotionally to know I was having to leave a city that I had so many memories."
Cousins also told NFL Live that he spoke to several members of the organization the following day, including owner Dan Snyder and coach Jay Gruden.
"Coach Gruden called me the next day and communicated that my desire to draw the process out through March was going to make it tough on them," Cousins said. "They couldn't afford to wait so they had to make a move. They wanted to do a deal, but because I wanted to go a little longer it put them in a tough spot. So they made the trade. I understood that. He said, 'I wish you all the best. We had a good run and look forward to seeing you in the future.' "
Cousins also told Sirius XM Radio on Friday that the subsequent days since the news were "not as bad as you might think."
"It came as a surprise," he told Sirius. "I certainly hadn't heard anything. In this league, I learned curveballs come all the time. I expect to be a free agent come March 14. We'll see if that plays out. If it does, it's a unique opportunity I look forward to. I haven't had a chance to pick where I play since 2007, when I chose to go to Michigan State."