Kirk Cousins

Redskins Not Looking To Draft QB In Day 2

The Redskins, it seems, have rebuffed advances for their starting quarterback. With that in mind, they are not looking to draft a quarterback on Day 2, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link).Redskins Helmet (Vertical)

Instead, the Redskins will only look into a quarterback on Day 3, which would indicate that they are more interested in taking a developmental type of player. It’s an interesting play for the Redskins when considering that they have yet to make a long-term commitment to Kirk Cousins. Despite proving himself across multiple seasons, Washington has so far been unwilling to pay him like a top quarterback. If Cousins turns in another strong season, the Redskins will either have to give him the monster multi-year deal he is seeking or give him a third franchise tag which would upwards of $34MM.

The Redskins have plenty of non-QB needs to address in the pivotal second and third rounds, but they’re also doing themselves a disservice if they do not consider some of the top arms available. If they cannot retain Cousins in 2018, they could be left scrambling.

The Redskins own the No. 49 and No. 81 picks in tonight’s section of the draft.

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Four Teams Call Redskins About Kirk Cousins

“At least four teams” have called the Redskins about quarterback Kirk Cousins, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. It’s not immediately clear whether the Redskins are listening with an open mind. Earlier tonight, we learned that the Browns called to inquire on Cousins, but we don’t know who the other three teams are. Kirk Cousins (vertical)

Cousins has been in trade rumors this offseason as the Redskins still have yet to make a long-term commitment to him. For the time being, Cousins is slated to play out the 2017 season on an expensive repeat franchise tag. The Redskins might not be ready to pay him like a top 12 quarterback, but another team likely would be.

I would imagine that any package for Cousins would include a high 2017 draft pick that would allow the Redskins to add a promising young quarterback. With Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes already off of the board, it’s not clear which available QB, if any, would allow the Redskins to part with Cousins.

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Browns Attempting To Trade For Kirk Cousins?

The Browns are trying to trade for Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). At this time, Rapoport says the Browns aren’t particularly interested in dealing Cousins, but anything is possible.

Meanwhile, Redskins sources are telling Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that Cousins will not be traded to the Browns. Also, top Cleveland exec Sashi Brown told reporters that the Browns have not called on Cousins (via Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer).Kirk Cousins (vertical)

For his part, Cousins has said that he wants to remain with the Redskins.

I want to be where I’m wanted, and that’s what I’ve said all along,” Cousins said recently. “When a team is willing to step up and commit to me fully for the long haul, then why would I want to be anywhere else? I mean, this is an incredible fan base. It’s one of the top five fan bases in the history of the NFL. It goes all the way back to the early 1930s. There’s three Super Bowl trophies, there’s multiple Hall of Famers, there’s high character players still living in the area — Darrell Green, Art Monk, guys that we can learn from. I love this organization and want to see us get back to those glory days that they had with Coach (Joe) Gibbs in the ’80s and early ’90s. And I want to add to that great history. There’s really no reason to want to look elsewhere. It’s a matter of wanting to be where you’re wanted, and I think that’s what all of us want — not just in football but in any walk of life.”

Cousins started in 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, 54 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

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Kirk Cousins Wants To Stay With Redskins

Kirk Cousins isn’t expecting to be traded this offseason and he isn’t rooting for a deal either. In a conversation this week with Peter King of The MMQB, Cousins reaffirmed his desire to stay with the Redskins. Kirk Cousins

I want to be where I’m wanted, and that’s what I’ve said all along,” Cousins said (transcript via Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post). “When a team is willing to step up and commit to me fully for the long haul, then why would I want to be anywhere else? I mean, this is an incredible fan base. It’s one of the top five fan bases in the history of the NFL. It goes all the way back to the early 1930s. There’s three Super Bowl trophies, there’s multiple Hall of Famers, there’s high character players still living in the area — Darrell Green, Art Monk, guys that we can learn from. I love this organization and want to see us get back to those glory days that they had with Coach (Joe) Gibbs in the ’80s and early ’90s. And I want to add to that great history. There’s really no reason to want to look elsewhere. It’s a matter of wanting to be where you’re wanted, and I think that’s what all of us want — not just in football but in any walk of life.”

The Redskins and Cousins’ camp might have different ideas as to what kind of deal should make him feel wanted. Cousins, for all of his loyalty to the team, is keen on getting what he perceives as fair market value. So far, the Redskins’ offers haven’t enticed him. The most recent pitch has the Redskins proposing a five-year deal worth $20MM annually, but Cousins has turned that down in favor of playing out the season on his one-year, $24MM repeat franchise tender.

If Cousins continues on his current trajectory, the Redskins will lose a great deal of leverage next offseason when a third franchise tag would cost more than $34MM. The 28-year-old (29 in August) wants to stay, but he won’t tie himself down for mid-range QB money.

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NFC Notes: Redskins, Cousins, Cook, Bears

Despite all the trade rumors that surrounded Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins earlier this offseason, the veteran signal-caller expects to spend the 2017 campaign in Washington. “I haven’t heard anything,” Cousins said today on ESPN’s NFL Live (link via John Keim of ESPN.com). “I’m not expecting anything to happen. And I’m looking forward to getting back to work with my teammates.” The Redskins are reportedly offering Cousins a five-year deal worth $20MM annually, but if a deal isn’t struck, Cousins will play out the season on his second consecutive franchise tag (at a cost of nearly $24MM). Cousins has already signed the tender, fully guaranteeing himself that salary for 2017.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Redskins hosted Florida State running back Dalvin Cook today, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Scouts are reportedly cooling on Cook due to character issues, and he didn’t post impressive numbers at the combine. But the production is there on film, and Cook is still expected to come off the board on Day 1. Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson formed a “thunder and lightning” attack for Washington in 2016, while Matt Jones and Mack Brown are also on the roster.
  • Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles visited the Bears today, a source tells Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Bolles, though slightly older than the typical NFL draft prospect (he’ll be 25 when the season begins), is now viewed as a top-20 selection and could even find his way into the top 10. Chicago isn’t in dire need of an offensive tackle, and Bolles almost certainly won’t be in consideration at pick No. 3. Charles Leno and Bobby Massie are set to man tackle for the Bears in 2017.
  • The Redskins are meeting with Washington safety Budda Baker today, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Baker will subsequently meet with the Falcons later in the week. Although he’s small in stature (195 pounds), Baker “screams off the edge as a blitzer,” says Lance Zeirlein of NFL.com, who compares Baker to former NFL defensive MVP Bob Sanders. Baker will likely be a late first-round or early second-round pick.

Latest On Kirk Cousins

We learned several days ago that the Redskins offered Kirk Cousins a five-year extension that would begin in 2018, after Cousins plays out the 2017 campaign under the $23.94MM franchise tag. However, we also heard that the two sides remain far apart in negotiations, as the proposed extension does not include significant guaranteed money.

Kirk Cousins

Not only is the Redskins’ current offer not sufficient to tempt Cousins, but John Keim of ESPN.com is pessimistic that a long-term deal will get done at all (some sources, Keim says, are even more pessimistic). Keim believes the club has waited too long to make an offer that Cousins will accept, and that, at this point, Cousins has more incentive to wait and see how things play out in Washington with respect to the direction of the franchise, how he meshes with coach Jay Gruden as a playcaller, etc. After all, if the Redskins want to be sure that Cousins remains with the team in 2018, they would need to apply the franchise tag for a third and final time next year, which would mean paying Cousins over $34MM. If Washington does not offer an extension that includes at least that much in fully-guaranteed money, Cousins may be better off testing the open market, where he would almost certainly be the best quarterback available.

For its part, the team continues to insist that an extension will get done, and perhaps as the July deadline for a long-term pact approaches, Washington will increase its offer enough to get Cousins to eschew the prospect of free agency in 2018. But as Keim notes, the Redskins also have to be realistic and prepare for the chance that Cousins will not be around next year. Not everyone in the organization is as convinced as departed GM Scot McCloughan that 2016 sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld is the solution, and this year’s crop of rookie signal-callers is believed to be rather weak. Nonetheless, as Keim reports, McCloughan was “studying a lot of quarterbacks” prior to his dismissal, which could have been simple due diligence, or which could have been preparation for life with Cousins.

As our Connor Byrne wrote earlier this week, Cousins has made his case for a sizable commitment since he took over as the Redskins’ starter in 2015. He 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, 54 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

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Redskins Offering Cousins 5-Year Extension

While Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future in Washington is uncertain beyond 2017, team president Bruce Allen would like to keep him in the fold for the long haul.

Kirk Cousins

Asked if the Redskins view Cousins as someone capable of serving as the face of the franchise for the next half-decade or so, Allen told Albert Breer of TheMMQB: “Well, since we’ve offered him a contract around that length, I’d say yes we do. He has gotten better the last three years, and we see him getting better in the future, and that’s why we do want to sign him long-term. We like his role as our quarterback and our leader, we just have to work that out.”

The Redskins have floated a five-year extension for Cousins, reports Breer, who adds that the new deal would include the soon-to-be 29-year-old’s franchise-tagged 2017, in which he’ll make $23.94MM. The pact would then begin in 2018 and keep Cousins under Redskins control through the 2022 campaign. However, “the sides aren’t close to getting something done now,” writes Breer. That’s not surprising, as the proposal includes “roughly” $20MM per annum and a “low guarantee,” reports Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (Twitter link via the Post’s Mike Jones). A “serious” offer would need to feature at least $40MM fully guaranteed at signing, posits Joel Corry of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

If Washington doesn’t sign Cousins by July 15, he’ll play a second straight season under the tag. Designating him as their franchise player again next year would cost the Redskins an unpalatable $34MM-plus, which undoubtedly increases the urgency to reach a long-term deal in the next three and a half months. Cousins has made his case for a sizable committment since he took over as the Redskins’ starter in 2015. He 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, 54 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

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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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