North Notes: Cutler, Browns, Peppers

Kirk Cousins will be under center for the Redskins tonight as they host the Giants in Washington, but if things had played out differently five years ago, it could be Bears quarterback Jay Cutler wearing burgundy and gold tonight. As Jason La Canfora of details, Cutler was very interested in being dealt to Washington when he asked the Broncos to trade him back in 2009.

“[He] wanted to come,” said Vinny Cerrato, Washington’s VP of football operations at the time. “He figured [Mike] Shanahan was coming anyhow, and so he wanted to come, too. And for the agent and everybody, it would have been a very smooth transition.”

Although Washington was willing to deal multiple top picks and a veteran quarterback (Jason Campbell) for Cutler, the Broncos ultimately preferred the Bears’ offer of two first-rounders, a third-rounder, and Kyle Orton. Still, it was a close race — one Bears source tells La Canfora that “there was a period” during negotiations where he thought Washington would ultimately land the young signal-caller.

As we contemplate how the Redskins’ fate over the last several seasons may have changed if they’d traded for the current Bears quarterback, let’s round up a few Thursday items out of the NFL’s two North divisions….

  • Once Adrian Peterson‘s $10MM+ per year deal comes off the Vikings‘ books – one way or another – it could be quite some time before there’s another running back making eight figures annually, writes Joel Corry of The former agent takes a look at the extinction of the high-priced running back, and which players might have a shot at signing big contracts within the next few years.
  • As they count down the weeks until Josh Gordon‘s return, the Browns continue to work out wide receivers. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that B.J. Cunningham and Rashad Lawrence auditioned for the club this week.
  • Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke to former Bear Julius Peppers about how he has made the transition from one NFC North mainstay to another after signing with the Packers this offseason.
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