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49ers interest in Kirk Cousins waning? Report links San Fran with new QB

49ers interest in Kirk Cousins waning? Report links San Fran with new QB

A few weeks back shockwaves came through Redskins fans as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that San Francisco, with Kyle Shanahan as coach, would make a strong push to land Kirk Cousins, either via free agency or trade. A trade that could even include the No. 2 overall pick. 

Now it seems the 49ers are considering a new direction at quarterback.

Schaub is set to be a free agent after the Super Bowl. He spent this season as Matt Ryan's backup in Atlanta, and has only started two games in the last three seasons bouncing between the Falcons, Baltimore and Oakland. He was benched in 2013 as the Texans starter, but when Schaub and Shanahan worked together in Houston, the duo produced some strong numbers. 

His best year came in 2009, when Schaub threw for 4,770 yards, completing nearly 68 percent of his passes to go with 29 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. Those numbers sound familiar? Cousins threw for 4,917, completing 67 percent of his passes to go with 25 TDs against 12 INTs in 2016.

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Moving for Schaub makes sense for Shanahan and San Francisco. Clearly Schaub knows Shanahan's system, both from their days in Houston and this season in Atlanta. It helps that Schaub will likely be available cheap.

Cousins, on the other hand, will not come cheap, and that's if he's even available.

It seems highly unlikely Washington will let their QB hit free agency this season, especially with the franchise tag again at the team's disposal. Redskins brass continues to say a long-term contract for Cousins is in the works, even if talks haven't begun yet. A trade offer for Cousins would need to include a package of draft picks. 

The Niners interest in Schaub does not rule out a possible pursuit of Cousins. In fact, Schaub could be a good veteran backup for Cousins, a seasoned voice to talk through ideas, coverages and problems.

Regardless of what happens between San Francisco and Schaub, Cousins will be hard to get. 

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.

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In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

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