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Report: Redskins could pursue Jameis Winston to back-up Dwayne Haskins

Report: Redskins could pursue Jameis Winston to back-up Dwayne Haskins

The new league year arrived for the NFL on Wednesday, and even with bloated rosters available to teams until training camp, the Redskins only list one quarterback on their active roster. 

That would be Dwayne Haskins, the 15th overall pick last year that showed some flashes of promise late in the 2019 season. Alex Smith is still on the team's payroll, but after a catastrophic leg injury in 2018, he hasn't been active for more than a year. Currently, he's on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and it's unclear if or when that's changing. 

With Smith's status so unknown, and Haskins having just seven starts under his belt, Redskins head coach Ron Rivera has openly talked about competition at the quarterback position. 

"Quarterback is a position you've got to have competition in," Rivera said during the NFL Scouting Combine last month. "Very competitive competition."

Most of the conversation around QB competition has included Tua Tagavailoa, the Alabama star that the Redskins could select with the second overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. 

More recently, that conversation has turned to Cam Newton, the Panthers star that is now on the trading block. Rivera and Newton worked together for years in Carolina, got to a Super Bowl, and speak of each other with deep respect and fondness. Don't rule that out, at least not yet, particularly if the Panthers struggle to find a trade partner and Washington can swoop in for a low cost. 

Now another QB name has emerged from Monday Night Football analyst Booger McFarland. 

The first overall pick in 2015, Winston had a volatile five-year run in Tampa. At times, he was brilliant, throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns last year. At times, however, he was awful, including throwing 30 interceptions last year. He's benched in favor of journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and also had weird sideline displays. In 2018, Winston served a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. 

In short, the Jameis Winston experience has been a roller coaster in Tampa, and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians seemed very ready to move on by season's end. Asked if his Tampa team could excel without Winston at quarterback, Arians didn't hold back:  "If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too."

Winston is now a free agent, available to all 32 NFL clubs, and it doesn't seem like much of a market has emerged. There aren't many starting jobs still available, New England and maybe the Chargers, so it makes sense that Winston might need to look at backup opportunities. 

Based on the success Ryan Tannehill had in Tennessee last season, where he signed to back-up Marcus Mariota before taking over the top job about halfway through the year, maybe Winston could view the Redskins as a similar opportunity. Tannehill just signed a lucrative new contract with the Titans based on his late-season success. 

Have we mentioned Rivera wants competition?

Because the Redskins still owe Alex Smith more than $20 million whether he plays or not, the Redskins are spending a lot at quarterback even with Haskins on a rookie deal. Signing a big name QB like Newton would probably be untenable from a financial perspective. But what would Winston cost? Last year, Tannehill made $7 million as a backup, and a similar deal could be tenable in Washington.

This year, Mariota signed with the Raiders to back-up David Carr. His grip on the starting job is not ironclad, at all, and Mariota could get a chance to take over if Carr struggles. 

Could a similar scenario unfold in Washington, with Winston backing up Haskins, but also waiting in the wings? It worked for the Titans, and Booger says it could happen with the Redskins too. 

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench in the NFL offseason and keeping team activities on hold, players have had to get creative with their workouts. 

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is among that population. Despite being a starter in the NFL and making millions of dollars, the former Redskin is now staying in shape in a very ordinary way: workouts at his parents' house.

In a story by ESPN, Cousins explained that his family relocated to his parents' house in Orlando, Florida with the league still waiting to resume. The move has been beneficial as it allows Cousins' and his wife, Julie, to have an easier time caring for their two young children. However, living in his parents' house has made it challenging to train the way an NFL quarterback needs to.

Cousins told ESPN that he's traded in a standard gym with machines and large amounts of equipment for his parents' driveway and backyard. He still has everything he needs to get sessions done, including WiFi to video chat with his trainer, but the setting is an interesting one.

Out on the driveway, the quarterback never knows who may pass by on a daily basis.

"I like my privacy, so being out in the driveway, on display for the whole neighborhood to see is probably less than ideal," Cousins told ESPN. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."

"[Every car will] see me doing my shuffles across the driveway, or my cariocas, or doing the jump-rope or different plank exercises, core work, medicine ball, lunges -- whatever it may be," he added. "And different people honk or wave, so it's kind of fun."

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Honks and even the occasional "Go Pack, go!" at Cousins in the middle of his workout bring a smile to his face as he navigates the new situation. Cousins may have been a Pro Bowler in 2019, but the current situation of the world has him and many other athletes heading back to their humble beginnings. If he finds success on the field in 2020, his parents' driveway and front yard will be part of the equation. 

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Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson could go down as one of the NFL's all-time greats without ever having to play another snap in the NFL.

But as the running back gears up for his 14th NFL season and his third with the Redskins, he has one specific goal in mind.

"Passing Barry Sanders would definitely be one of the highlights of my career," Peterson said on NFL Network, via ProFootballTalk. "What he accomplished, and how I’ve looked up to him, I’ve always wanted to say I did something better than Barry Sanders."

What the 35-year-old running back is referring to is passing Sanders on the all-time career rushing yards list. Peterson, who has amassed over 14,000 rushing yards in his career, currently trails the Lions great by 1,054 yards.

As it stands now, Peterson is fifth all-time in career rushing yards, trailing only Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Frank Gore.

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Moving past Sanders in 2020 might be a tough ask, as Peterson has not topped 1,054 yards in a single-season since 2015, where he rushed for a league-best 1,485 yards with the Vikings. The running back came close to topping that mark in 2018, when he finished with 1,042 yards in his first season in Washington.

Peterson has been the lead back for Washington the past two seasons, starting 31 of a possible 32 games for the team. But with a new regime in place in 2020 and a crowded backfield, it's unlikely that Peterson will turn in a third-straight 200-carry season.

Last season, Peterson went on record to say his goal is still to break Smith's all-time rushing yards record. Peterson currently sits just over 4,000 yards behind the Cowboys legend.

"Yeah, why not?" Peterson said. "I'm still playing the game at a high level, and I feel like I can continue to play for a long period of time. So why not keep my bar at reaching 18 [thousand yards] and surpassing Emmitt Smith?"

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