NFC Notes: Cousins, Robinson, Davis, Brown, Dotson, Maxwell, Washington

Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins was regarded as a prospect with starter-caliber potential coming out of Michigan State in 2012, and despite posting lackluster numbers in eight career games (four starts), his name surfaced in trade rumors earlier in the offseason. In an article by Mark Maske in the Washington Post, Cousins acknowledges he was aware of the speculation, but “never really got a whole lot of information.” Said Cousins: “I didn’t know what was truth and what was rumors, what was speculation. So it was hard for me to really read into anything because you didn’t know how true it was. So I think for the most part it was smart for me just to stay out of it.”

In other NFC notes. . .

  • ESPN’s Redskins reporter John Keim did an interview on 890 AM in which he said receiver Leonard Hankerson, who is recovering from a torn ACL/LCL injury, is questionable for the start of training camp. After witnessing Hankerson barely going half-speed in minicamp, Keim said he wouldn’t be surprised if Hankerson begins the season on the PUP list.
  • Keim also singled out third-year linebacker Keenan Robinson, whose speed and range were on display during minicamp. According to Keim, the team has been high on Robinson for two years, envisioning him as London Fletcher‘s replacement at middle linebacker. However, torn pectoral muscles landed Robinson on IR 11 games into his 2012 rookie season and sidelined him for all of 2013. Robinson’s time might be now, adds the Washington Post’s Mike Jones, who says Robinson “has done well in classroom sessions and on-field workouts this offseason” and “appeared at ease on Thursday as he made the defensive calls, and matched the tempo of the returning starters…”
  • Vernon Davis, who is seeking a new contract, was coy when asked if he’ll be at the 49ers’ involuntary minicamp, according to Eric Branch at “I might be there,” [Davis] said, smiling. “I might not. It’s mandatory. I probably should be there. We’ll see.”
  • Through a series of unforeseen events, Stevie Brown is once again working as one of the Giants’ first-team safeties alongside Antrel Rolle, writes ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Brown, who missed last season because of a torn ACL, is on a one-year, $2.75MM deal.
  • The Buccaneers’ offensive line struggled last season, but college basketball player-turned-defensive lineman-turned-practice squad flier-turned-offensive tackle starter Demar Dotson could be developing into a star, according to Michael Renner at Pro Football Focus. Dotson, playing on a three-year, $4.5MM deal that runs out after 2016, “is far and away one of the best values at his position,” believes Renner.
  • Despite losing Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond in free agency, the Seahawks vaunted secondary “shouldn’t skip a beat” in the estimation of Pro Football Focus’ Pete Damilatis, who believes third-year cornerback Byron Maxwell is the team’s “Secret Superstar.”
  • In the wake of Cardinals star linebacker Daryl Washington‘s one-year suspension, Darren Urban of explains why it doesn’t make sense to cut Washington.
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