5 Key Stories: 7/9/17 – 7/16/17

Ezekiel Elliott could face suspension: Allegations from a woman in 2016 claiming the Cowboys running back hit her on multiple occasions could result in a multi-game suspension for the second-year player. Although no charges were filed nor was an arrest made, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter senses that Elliott could be facing a two-game ban as a result of this allegation. The league’s ugly recent history with domestic violence may cause this ban, especially considering less evidence is required to produce an NFL ban than a legal punishment. The Cowboys host the Giants in Week 1 then travel to Denver for a Broncos tilt in Week 2.

Broncos working to extend John Elway: Denver’s GM is entering his contract year, but several reports came out late this week that the team and its top front office executive are in talks about a new deal. Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) reported nothing was imminent, but the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Woody Paige reported a deal could get done as soon as next week. And Paige reported the deal is expected to make Elway the league’s highest-paid pure GM. Affiliated with the Broncos in a front office capacity since 2011, Elway will see his contract expire in March if no new deal is reached.

Chiefs hire next GM: The Chiefs promoted Brett Veach to succeed John Dorsey. The 39-year-old Veach worked with the team for the previous two years as co-player personnel director and initially made the move to Kansas City from Philadelphia in 2013, along with Andy Reid. Veach interviewed for the job in late June, shortly after the Chiefs fired Dorsey after a successful four-season tenure. Despite working under both Dorsey and now-Colts GM Chris Ballard during his time in K.C., Veach will become the franchise’s seventh GM. Other candidates — like the Chiefs’ other co-player personnel director, Mike Borgnozi, along with Seahawks co-player personnel director Scott Fitterer and Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden were in the running for the job.

Sam Darnold might stay not turn pro in 2018: Potentially the No. 1 overall pick should he declare for the 2018 draft, the USC quarterback said that’s not a certainty at this time. Darnold said he is taking this one year at a time. This comes after a report surfaced last week indicating Darnold might play out his tenure with the Trojans. While the temptation to be paid for playing football might turn out to be too great for Darnold, it won’t be the first time this century a USC passer expected to go No. 1 balked. Matt Leinart was viewed as the 2005 top pick before waiting a year and going No. 10 in the 2006 draft.

Kirk Cousins impasse approaches second tag deadline: The name that dominated the week from a volume standpoint, Cousins remains unsigned and is expected to play another season on the franchise tag. Schefter reported Cousins and the Redskins aren’t expected to agree to a deal by 3pm CT Monday, but the sides are having more productive talks that could produce an agreement in early 2018. Mark Jones of the Washington Post reported the gradual numbers the Redskins proposed over the past two years; the franchise continually isn’t comfortable with the demands coming out of Cousins’ camp. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report noted former GM Scot McCloughan was not on board with paying Cousins $20MM per year after the 2015 season, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported there’s been disagreements internally in Washington about Cousins’ value this offseason.

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