Breer’s Latest: Cousins, Jets, L.A., London

After spending some time looking back on the long-time Tom Brady/Peyton Manning rivalry, which won’t get another installment this weekend, Albert Breer of the NFL Network surveys the rest of the NFL, and passes along a handful of noteworthy nuggets. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights….

  • Sources tell Breer that Washington and Kirk Cousins‘ representatives have engaged in “very preliminary” extension talks. However, both sides have acknowledged that those discussions are unlikely to really get serious until after the season.
  • As Washington considers a long-term deal – or perhaps the franchise tag – for Cousins, the club needs to decide if he’s a franchise quarterback. Jay Gruden‘s assessment? “That’s what we need to find out,” the Washington head coach said. “The quarterback position, you gotta be consistent. And if there is a knock on Kirk, it’s that he played great here for a quarter or a half, and then he has a couple brain farts and throws a couple bad balls. He needs to be highly consistent over time. But arm talent-wise, leadership skill-wise, there’s no question he can be a very good quarterback for a long time. You just keep repping him, keep coaching him. Every week is different.”
  • The Jets are seeing “years of shaky drafting” catch up to them, so GM Mike Maccagnan will have to figure out how to restock the roster this winter. According to Breer, there’s a good chance that Maccagnan will try to accumulate draft capital on the trade market — Muhammad Wilkerson would be an interesting chip if the club decides to use its franchise tag on him.
  • With the Chargers, Rams, and Raiders – the three teams considering a move to Los Angeles – all struggling in recent weeks, it’s fair to wonder if one or more of those franchises will undergo overhauls this offseason, particularly if any relocate to Los Angeles. As Breer observes, there were four teams that relocated in the 1990s, and three of them fired their coaches at that time. Any club that moves to L.A. in 2016 would have to take a hard look at every aspect of its operation, particularly since the league as a whole “cannot afford to fail when it comes to Los Angeles,” as former Raiders exec Amy Trask tells Breer.
  • One of the three games scheduled to be played in London in 2016 features the Rams and an unknown NFC East opponent for now, as the league waits to see how the standings will line up. As Breer explains, the move is designed to test how the U.K. fan base will react when it only knows one of the two teams, since tickets are set to go on sale next week.
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