Kirk Cousins

NFC Notes: Giants, 49ers, Eagles, Vikings

The Giants would like to re-sign free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, but they’re unlikely to offer him anything more than a one-year, $4MM deal because of their lack of cap room, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. That probably won’t suffice for Hankins, who’s reportedly seeking upward of $10MM per year. Free agency hasn’t unfolded to Hankins’ liking, and one reason is that some around the NFL don’t see him as “an impact player,” sources told Vacchiano. Hankins went without a sack during a nine-game 2015 campaign and only notched three last year, Vacchiano notes. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus wasn’t impressed with Hankins’ performance in 2016, as it graded the 24-year-old just 72nd out of 127 qualified interior D-linemen.

More from the NFC:

  • The 49ers have used one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, who met with the team Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Despite a less-than-ideal showing at the scouting combine, Foster figures to be among the first players chosen in this year’s draft, meaning he might end up with the 49ers at No. 2 overall. Of course, considering general manager John Lynch is willing to trade the pick, it’s possible San Francisco could move down a few selections and and still nab Foster.
  • The Eagles seem to be targeting offensive playmakers as they get ready to pick 14th pick in the draft. Along with the previously reported Dalvin Cook, the Eagles hosted LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams on Friday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links).
  • Tight end Jared Cook‘s decision to accept the Raiders’ two-year, $12.2MM offer (including $5MM guaranteed) Thursday came after he turned down a significantly higher amount of guarantees from the Vikings, per Caplan (Twitter link). This is speculation, but both the Raiders’ quarterback (Derek Carr) versus the Vikings’ (Sam Bradford) and the fact that Cook clearly wouldn’t have been the best tight end on Minnesota’s roster may have tipped the scales in Oakland’s favor. The Vikings have a star tight end, Kyle Rudolph, who caught 83 passes last year. At the same time, Raiders tight ends Clive Walford and Lee Smith combined for 44 receptions.
  • Although former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan wanted to sign Kirk Cousins to an extension during 2015 training camp, the club waited on a new Cousins deal due to concerns over how fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III would react, writes Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. McCloughan was given the go-ahead to negotiate with Cousins in December 2015, but by then Cousins already had a season of solid production under his belt. Since that time, Washington has placed two consecutive franchise tags on Cousins at a cost of nearly $45MM.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Three Teams Inquired On Kirk Cousins Trade

Three clubs have approached the Redskins about a Kirk Cousins trade within the past two weeks, but all three teams’ inquiries were declined, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. The Browns were not one of the clubs that asked about Cousins despite rumors a Washington/Cleveland Cousins deal could occur.Kirk Cousins (Vertical)

While Cabot doesn’t identify any of the trio of teams that did call on Cousins’ availability, it’s fair to speculate the 49ers were among the group. San Francisco has been linked to Cousins since the moment Kyle Shanahan was named the club’s next head coach, as the two enjoyed an excellent relationship while Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.

In theory, a team like the Browns or 49ers could roll the dice and trade for Cousins without an agreement for a multi-year deal in place. The two sides would then still have several months to hammer out a contract before the July 15th deadline. If that’s unsuccessful, they would have him for $23.94MM in 2017 with the option of tagging him again for $28MM+ in 2018.

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Latest On Kirk Cousins

“There’s a growing belief in some circles” that the Browns will try to acquire Kirk Cousins from the Redskins via trade, one league source tells Mike Florio of PFT. The Redskins have the ability to trade Cousins now that he has signed his one-year franchise tender. Kirk Cousins (vertical)

Depending on who you believe, Cousins either requested a trade last week or simply asked whether he would be getting moved. But, another source tells Florio that Cousins was concerned about the fact that the Redskins can now trade him. Specifically, the source says, he was concerned about being traded to the Browns.

Last month, there was conflicting word on whether Cousins would be open to joining the Browns. One reporter said that Cousins would only want a trade to the 49ers while another said that he finds the Browns to be “intriguing.” Cousins cannot formally block a trade, but he could deter a team from trading for him by refusing to negotiate a long-term deal.

In theory, a team like the Browns could roll the dice and trade for Cousins without an agreement for a multi-year deal in place. Then the two sides would still have several months to hammer out a contract before the July 15th deadline. If that’s unsuccessful, they would have him for $23.94MM in 2o17 with the option of tagging him again for $28MM+ in 2018.

Of course, there’s also the matter of getting a trade done with the Redskins. As Florio writes, an offer of the No. 12 overall pick plus their newly-acquired second round choice from Houston could get it done.

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Kirk Cousins Denies Making Trade Request

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins says that he never asked for a trade, despite rumors claiming he did so last week in a personal appeal to owner Dan Snyder (link via John Keim and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). Instead, Cousins says he simply reached out to the Redskins to find out if they were planning on trading him. Kirk Cousins (Vertical)

I laughed and thought, ‘I don’t know where that comes from because that wasn’t the case,’” Cousins said of the report. “Somehow it got twisted..that’s not the approach I took.”

This offseason has been a bizarre one for the Redskins, even by Redskins standards. General manager Scot McCloughan was M.I.A. for several weeks without explanation from the team. Finally, last week, the Redskins fired him with anonymous team officials telling reporters that McCloughan was let go due to ongoing issues with alcohol. At the same time, there have been rumblings that top Redskins decision makers dumped McCloughan out of jealousy and a desire to regain power in the front office. With everything going on, few would have blamed Cousins for requesting a trade.

Now that he has signed his one-year tender, Cousins will play out the 2017 season for roughly $24MM, unless the two sides can agree to a long-term deal between now and July. Based on the way contract talks have gone between the two sides, a new deal doesn’t seem likely to fall into place in the next five months.

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Redskins QB Kirk Cousins Signs Tender Contract

It’s official: Kirk Cousins has signed his one-year franchise tender. We heard on Thursday that Cousins would sign on the dotted line, even though he is ostensibly frustrated with the chaos going down in Washington right now.

Kirk CousinsCousins personally appealed to Dan Snyder for a trade this week, but he was rebuffed by the polarizing owner. Cousins stopped short of a trade demand, however, and has accepted the fact that he probably isn’t going anywhere. The signing of the one-year tender does not hinder the Redskins from trading Cousins, but Washington has so far shown no willingness to move the QB. Meanwhile, top potential suitors like the Niners and the Browns seem to have other plans for the quarterback position.

The Redskins and Cousins now have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term extension. If a deal is not completed, he’ll earn nearly $24MM for the 2017 season before – again – being scheduled for free agency.

2016 was another solid campaign for Cousins, who completed 67-percent of his passes for 4,917 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. This performance led to the 28-year-old making his first Pro Bowl.

For team’s seeking a starting quarterback, Cousins would surely be a more attractive option than the best remaining free agents. Based on our rankings, Nick Foles is currently the best available quarterbacks.

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Kirk Cousins Won’t Push For Trade

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will sign his franchise tag soon, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Cousins, he adds, will be a “good soldier” and understands that he’s unlikely to get dealt, despite his personal appeal to owner Dan Snyder for a trade.

Kirk Cousins

Once he signs, Cousins will be slated to play out the 2017 campaign while earning nearly $24MM. In theory, the two sides can work out an extension between now and July. Based on the way talks have gone between Cousins and the Redskins to date, that doesn’t seem likely. Then again, with GM Scot McCloughan on the way out and the entire franchise in general disarray, it’s anyone’s guess as to who his reps would be negotiating with or what that lead decision maker would be inclined to do.

If Cousins doesn’t ink a multiyear deal with the Redskins by midsummer or end up in another uniform via trade in the coming months, next season could go down as his last in Washington. Tagging an unsigned Cousins again next offseason would cost the Redskins upward of $34MM, an unpalatable total.

For the second straight year, then, Cousins is in line to play without any long-term security, though he’s also on track to rake in $43MM-plus between last season and 2017 on account of the tag. Cousins has made his case for a big-money deal since breaking out during the 2015 campaign, his first as the Redskins’ full-time starter. The 28-year-old started all of the Redskins’ games over the past two seasons and helped the team to a 17-14-1 record, including an NFC East title in 2015. Along the way, Cousins combined for over 9,000 yards and 54 touchdowns against 23 interceptions.

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Kirk Cousins Wants Redskins To Trade Him

After being hit with the exclusive franchise tag, Kirk Cousins is not free to negotiate with teams this week. However, he wants out. Cousins appealed personally to owner Daniel Snyder for a trade, but was told not to get his hopes up, sources tell ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (on Twitter). Washington has shown “zero inclination” to trade Cousins, adds Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Kirk Cousins

Cousins has been the subject of trade talk for some time with the 49ers often linked to him. The Redskins have been reluctant to commit to Cousins on a long-term deal, but the Niners would presumably be happy to give him the kind of monster deal he is seeking – provided that they also wouldn’t have to give up too much to acquire him via trade. The Browns, who have even more cap room than the Niners, have also been brought up as a possible landing spot.

On Wednesday, we learned that Snyder may be holding up a potential trade to San Francisco due to his bad relationship with the Shanahans, Kyle and Mike. Snyder reportedly still holds a grudge against the Shanahans after firing the pair following the 2013 campaign, per Jones, and especially dislikes that the duo’s prediction of a failed Robert Griffin III career ultimately proved true. As such, Snyder has no interest in “helping” Kyle Shanahan in any regard, including sending him a ready-made franchise quarterback in Cousins.

Ultimately, Cousins may have no choice but to sign the franchise tender and hope he can reach the 2018 free agent market unfettered. If he chooses that route, he’ll play out the 2017 campaign while earning nearly $24MM.

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Daniel Snyder Blocking Kirk Cousins Trade?

The Redskins haven’t given any indication they they’re willing to trade franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins to the 49ers (or any other club), and Washington may be holding onto its signal-caller thanks to owner Daniel Snyder‘s poor relationships with both Cousins and the Shanahans, Kyle and Mike, according to Kevin Jones of KNBR.Daniel Snyder (Vertical)

[RELATED: Dysfunction In Redskins’ Front Office]

Snyder reportedly still holds a grudge against the Shanahans after firing the pair following the 2013 campaign, per Jones, and especially dislikes that the duo’s prediction of a failed Robert Griffin III career ultimately proved true. As such, Snyder has no interest in “helping” Kyle Shanahan in any regard, including sending him a ready-made franchise quarterback in Cousins.

Snyder may also possess personal animus towards Cousins, as Jones describes a “weird” relationship between the two. After Cousins won the first game of his career in 2012 filling in for an injured RGIII, Snyder reportedly refused to congratulate or even acknowledge Cousins in the locker room following the contest, according to Jones. Although Snyder has since softened his stance, a degree of tension still endures.

Cousins will make nearly $24MM in 2017 under the terms of his second consecutive franchise tag, which he has yet to sign.

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Extra Points: Cooks, Ross, Davis, Cousins

The Eagles have been connected to Brandin Cooks for some time. Eyeing the eventual Saints wide receiver in 2014 draft, Philadelphia tried to trade for the speedster before the deadline last year, Jeff McLane of Philly.com reports. Both the Eagles and Titans have been connected to the fourth-year wideout, who will have two more years left on his rookie contract after his fifth-year option is picked up. The Eagles were also connected to 49ers wideout Torrey Smith prior to the 2016 trade deadline. They did not end up making a trade, but wide receiver looms at or near the top of Philly’s wish list going into the 2017 offseason.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Washington wideout prospect John Ross set NFL Twitter ablaze today by running a 4.22-second 40-yard dash. That time is now official, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets. The former Huskies pass-catcher ascends to the top of the Combine 40 hierarchy. Chris Johnson‘s 4.24-second clocking in 2008 previously resided atop this list. Ross, though, was limping after the historic sprint and entered the Combine with a shoulder malady that will be addressed soon. Ross has a surgery scheduled for March 14 — three days after Washington’s pro day — according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (on Twitter). Cole adds that Ross is expected to be ready to start his rookie season on time.
  • One NFL wide receivers coach likened the 5-foot-11 wideout to “a clean Tyreek Hill,” via Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter). Ross was already considered one of the top receiver prospects in this draft, with ESPN.com’s Todd McShay (Insider link) ranking him behind only Mike Williams and Corey Davis.
  • Davis expects to be ready to play by minicamp, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. The Western Michigan talent isn’t participating at the Combine due to ankle surgery. He won’t be ready to return to action by Western Michigan’s pro day.
  • Kirk Cousins has yet to sign his Redskins franchise tender after doing so immediately last year upon being tagged, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. Florio offers that Cousins’ wait may be in hopes of the team rescinding the tag, a la Josh Norman last year. Cousins said in January he’d sign the tag, worth $23.94MM, and Florio notes that not happening after four days shows something isn’t right. Of course, the Cousins negotiations stand to be complex this offseason, and it’s still incredibly early in this process. No other tagged performer as signed his tender yet.

49ers, Redskins, Cowboys To Discuss Cousins, Romo?

In what would be a stunning turn of events, a scenario in which the 49ers acquire quarterback Kirk Cousins from the Redskins could lead to Washington landing fellow signal-caller Tony Romo from the Cowboys, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It would be a three-team trade that would see the Redskins send draft pick compensation to the NFC East rival Cowboys for Romo (Twitter links).

Kirk Cousins

While Romo’s a longtime star and a four-time Pro Bowler, the more significant passer changing hands in this deal would be Cousins. The Redskins placed the $23.94MM exclusive franchise tag on Cousins to prevent him from negotiating with other teams, but the two sides haven’t yet come close to a long-term agreement. That might lead Washington to shop Cousins, whom it could lose in free agency next year, though the 49ers reportedly aren’t willing to both surrender a haul of draft picks and sign him to a mega-deal. The Niners own the second pick in this year’s draft and are are set to select two more times in the top 70 (Nos. 34 and 66).

For his part, the 28-year-old Cousins would welcome a trade to the 49ers, which would allow him to reunite with Kyle Shanahan. The rookie head coach has long been a Cousins fan and coached him as Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2012-13. While Cousins was a backup during that two-year span, he emerged as a high-end starter last season and is coming off a campaign in which he completed 67 percent of passes, nearly reached the 5,000-yard mark (4,917), and tossed 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.

Unlike Cousins, Romo has barely seen the field the past two seasons. Shoulder injuries limited the soon-to-be 37-year-old to four games in 2015, when he struggled with five TDs against seven picks, and he suffered a broken bone in his back last August and ended up attempting just four passes on the season. Romo returned in November, but wunderkind rookie Dak Prescott had usurped the starting role for good by then.

With Prescott entrenched under center, Romo will likely be on his way out of Dallas soon. If it’s via trade, he’ll still be due base salaries of $14MM, $19.5MM, $20.5MM in each of the next three seasons, but none of that money is guaranteed. As CBS Sports’ Joel Corry reported last month, any team acquiring Romo would have to take on his salary for 2017 before reworking his contract. The Cowboys, though, would likely allow that club to have contract-related discussions with Romo’s camp before the trade.

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