NFC East Notes: Redskins, Cousins, Cowboys

Although the Redskins didn’t extend franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ contract by last Friday’s deadline, general manager Scot McCloughan told SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio on Sunday that he hopes the 27-year-old is under center in Washington “for a long time going forward” (link via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post).

McCloughan also elaborated on why he didn’t lock up Cousins, saying, “It’s the market. The NFL’s a phenomenal, phenomenal entity, and the money’s incredible. But the way I look at it is I want Kirk in a long-term deal, no doubt about it, but also I’m not gonna put our franchise in a situation where we’re gonna lose three or four younger guys that I think are gonna be good football players for one guy.”

With another strong campaign, Cousins will again put the Redskins in position to decide whether to tag or extend him next offseason. In the meantime, he’s set to pace all quarterbacks in 2016 base salary ($19.95MM), and that number will increase to $23.94MM in 2017 if the Redskins tag him for a second straight year. Prior to this summer’s extension deadline for tag recipients, Washington was only willing to pay Cousins $16MM per year and a total of $24MM in guarantees on a long-term deal.

Now for the latest on Washington’s fiercest rival:

  • In assessing the Cowboys’ 2016 outlook, owner Jerry Jones told NFL Network (video link), “We like what we’ve got offensively. Defensively now, we’ve got some challenges.” Jones went on to acknowledge that, given their defensive limitations, the Cowboys will need to control the ball in order to achieve optimum results. PFR recently echoed a similar sentiment in its offseason review of the Cowboys, who are positioned well on offense with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant returning from 2015 injuries, first-round running back Ezekiel Elliott joining the fold, and an elite line set to aid their skill players. On the other side of the ball, a defense that was below average last year didn’t do much to improve via free agency and the draft and will be without three important front seven members – Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain – to begin the season because of suspensions. While Lawrence and Gregory will sit four games apiece, Dallas won’t have McClain in the middle of its linebacker corps for 10. In response, the club brought back free agent Justin Durant, who was a Cowboy from 2013-14, on Monday.
  • Speaking of Bryant, the Cowboys wideout filed a lawsuit Monday against his former advisor, State. Sen Royce West, writes Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In the suit, Bryant accuses West of using him to “improperly line his own pockets and those of his business associates” and, along with fellow ex-advisor David Wells, take $300K from him. West called Bryant’s claims “lies and frivolous” and will file a defamation lawsuit against Bryant and attorney Kenneth Broughton, per Hill. West already filed suit against Bryant last month seeking up to $200K in damages from destruction the receiver allegedly caused while leasing a home from West. “Mr. Bryant needs to take responsibility for the damage done to my house and not attempt to avert focus away from his actions by making incredulous accusations against me,” said West.
  • In case you missed it, Bryant officially left previous agency CAA on Monday and will use Jay-Z’s organization, Roc Nation, as representation.
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