NFL AM: Redskins Want To Sign Kirk Cousins To Long Term Deal


Washington Redskins want to sign Kirk Cousins long term:

The Washington Redskins surprised many around football by winning the NFC East in large part because of the amazing season put together by Kirk Cousins.

Some were shocked when Washington head coach Jay Gruden named Cousins the starter before the season, especially because the Redskins’ coach said Cousins would be the guy all season long through ups and downs, stressing the move was not a short-term solution.

“When it’s all said and done, after all the film we’ve gone through, after all the offseason activity, all the training camp footage, we feel like at this time, Kirk Cousins gives us the best chance to win and that’s where we’re going,” Gruden said before the season. “It’s Kirk’s team.”

It’s unclear if Gruden and the Redskins saw Cousins as a franchise quarterback or just the best guy they had at the moment when deciding it was time to move on from Robert Griffin III, but after a 29 touchdown – 11 interception performance, that’s exactly how Washington is treating the four-year quarterback.

Cousins is set to become a free agent, but he isn’t going anywhere. While speaking to the media at Senior Bowl practice, Redskins’ general manager Scot McCloughan said while the franchise tag is an option, he’d like to see the team lock Cousins up long term.

“Well, the franchise tag is an option,” McCloughan said. “You’d rather get a long-term deal done, but we have a lot of options we’re dealing with right now, and that’s one of them.”

Cousin’s season opened a lot of eyes, and clearly the Redskins’ GM was one of them.

“I saw improvement as the season went on,” McCloughan continued. “From the standpoint of going forward of course we would like to have him around. The philosophy with me and the organization is we won’t talk contract stuff with the media, but I want him to be a part of the Redskins.”

The question is, why the rush? The reality is the franchise tag is probably the perfect solution for Washington this year, but they sound determined to make Cousins the long-term answer after what they saw this season.

There’s a lot of reasons to believe in Cousins, as he’s had an impressive competitive drive since his days at Michigan State. With that said, if ever there’s a team that should want to see a guy have more than one successful season before making a major investment in him, it should be the Redskins.

Griffin’s rookie season was much more heralded than the season Cousins just enjoyed, and look where they are now despite the ridiculous investment made on their former first-round pick. Washington would actually be wise to franchise Cousins for 2016 to see if he can duplicate the success he had in his first season as the team’s unquestioned starting quarterback.

Instead the Skins don’t seem interested in showing that kind of patience and will try to sign their new franchise quarterback to a long-term deal. We’re sure Cousins likes that just fine.

NFL investigating Peyton Manning over HGH rumors:

The news organization that originally reported allegations that Peyton Manning may have used HGH has since closed its doors, but the NFL is still reviewing the situation around the Broncos’ starting quarterback.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the NFL told him the situation is being reviewed, and that review will not be complete before Super Bowl 50.

“The review is ongoing and comprehensive. It involves obtaining and reviewing numerous records, conducting multiple interviews and working with other entities. We do not comment on the specifics of these matters until the review is completed. We are working with MLB and USADA.

“As to timing, the review will not be completed before the Super Bowl.”

Manning spoke about the allegations after they happened, and issued as staunch a denial as any athlete we’ve seen before him.

“Between being angry, furious, disgusted is how I really feel, sickened,” Manning said when interviewed just after the initial report. “I’m not sure I understand how someone can make something up about somebody. … And yet somehow it’s published in a story.

“I don’t understand that. Maybe you can explain that to me. So it’s completely fabricated, complete trash, garbage — there’s more adjectives I’d like to be able to use. It really makes me sick. It makes me sick that it brings (my wife) Ashley into it, her medical history, her medical privacy being violated. That makes me sick. I don’t understand that.”

The story is pretty bizarre, as the man who claimed Manning used HGH has since recanted his story, and a reporter who worked on the story claims the Broncos’ quarterback wasn’t directly linked to the use of HGH, and was quoted as saying, “we’re not making the allegation against Peyton Manning.”

So, let’s just review the facts. The now-defunct news agency and its reporter claim they’re not alleging Manning did anything wrong, and the man who did make the allegation recanted his statement. So what the hell are we doing here? Hopefully the NFL quickly washes its hands of this nonsense and doesn’t allow it to linger over the career of one of its greatest players.

Jerry Jones happy with Jason Garrett, crazy about Tony Romo:

The Dallas Cowboys were bad last season, but it’s pretty clear that much of that is because of the injury to Tony Romo. While Jason Garrett isn’t without blame, he can’t be lambasted over the performance of a team that had that kind of quarterback play.

The Cowboys head coach has had a pretty mediocre run in Dallas, but we can’t both preach patience and continuity, and suggest Dallas should run Garrett out of town for not taking this team over the top. In many places the talent is there for this football team, and Jerry Jones still believes when all the pieces are in place that Garrett will be the right guy for that moment.

“I have all the confidence that you need to have in Jason,” Jones said at the Senior Bowl Wednesday. “I really like our staff. We certainly, there’s an old adage in evaluating players, since we’re here at the Senior Bowl – if you see them do it, you know they can do it. If they’ve done it one or two times then they can do it. Now we’ve seen this staff perform and have a good year, ’14. That’s why I’m confident that if we get some stability at certainly some key positions on offense that we can have the team that we want to have.”

Jones didn’t stop there as he went on to praise his head coach’s work ethic while laying very little blame at Garrett’s feet for the team’s predicament.

“One thing he is, he has an inordinate work ethic and he really does focus and really is going to be that way no matter what our record was the prior season,” Jones said. “So I know that it’s frustrating to him to have the kind of year we had, but he was showing that and not in a way that hindered him coaching. But he was frustrated as I’m sure as he is right now at times during the season.”

Jones’ optimism on Garrett is one thing, but he’s downright loony when it comes to Romo. The Cowboys’ owner suggested there’s no rush to draft a quarterback in Dallas because there are many options to fill the position, and because as he sees it, Romo isn’t going anywhere soon.

There are many options. There’s free agency … We have to (draft a QB) to do what? We have to win a Super Bowl next year? Do we have to compete for a Super Bowl in the future? Do you have to have it in place after this draft? There’s no have-to here, in my mind, because we have the luxury of having Romo here for three, four, five more years.

Wait, what? Is Jones really delusional enough to think he’s going to get four or five more years out of Romo? He’s more likely to get four more months out of his soon to be 36-year-old, 12-year veteran than he is to get four more years.

It’s amazing that Jones at least claims to believe that he’s going to get that much more out of a quarterback that most of us don’t believe can last another full season in the NFL. The reality is the Cowboys might be Super Bowl contenders next season if they could rely on Romo, but there’s no way to believe they’ll actually be in position to accomplish that when you’re not confident their quarterback can land on his collarbone without being broken in half. It’s time for the Cowboys to start looking for their next signal caller, and that franchise is in a lot of trouble if Jones can’t figure that out.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.