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With John Lynch now in San Francisco, what about 49ers interest in Kirk Cousins?

With John Lynch now in San Francisco, what about 49ers interest in Kirk Cousins?

Let's start with the facts: Kirk Cousins could become a free agent in about a month, unless the Redskins can agree to a long-term deal with their quarterback or they place the franchise tag on the passer.

Those are far and away the two most likely scenarios - long-term deal or franchise tag - but another option emerged. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that San Francisco might make a strong trade offer for Cousins, perhaps even including the No. 2 overall pick. The crux of the Schefter report centered on the 49ers hiring Kyle Shanahan as coach, which is basically a done deal. Remember Shanahan was with the Redskins when Cousins was drafted, and the two are said to have a strong relationship. 

From Schefter's report: 

San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan. Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. 

Now, things have grown more interesting with the Niners hire of John Lynch as general manager. Lynch, a former player with the Bucs and Broncos, has no previous front office experience, but during his broadcasting work with Fox, repeatedly spoke highly of Cousins. 

"You know, there’s a lot of talk in Washington, should this be our guy moving forward, is he really [worth] a $20 million contract? You’ve got to take your head off the figure, off the number. I think that scares people. That’s the going rate, folks. You may not like it, but it’s the going rate for good quarterbacks. This guy is a really good quarterback. He’s earned the right, in my mind, to be the Redskins quarterback moving forward," Lynch said during the Redskins 27-22 win over the Eagles in December (via DC Sports Bog).

It's also interesting that Lynch was, in a way, Shanahan's hand-picked GM. Peter King of MMQB.com told the story of Lynch's hire, and said that it unfolded after the former Pro Bowl safety reached out to the currect Falcons offensive coordinator and said he'd be interested in the front office gig.

The more interesting nugget from King's story, that was mentioned twice, was that both Cousins and Lynch know without a quarterback their rebuilding effort in in San Francisco won't work.

  1. "If Lynch and Shanahan don’t find a long-term quarterback, regardless of their long contracts, they will fail in their quest to lead the 49ers out of the wilderness.​"
  2. "It all sounds good—the enlightened GM, the overly bright coach—but nothing will matter until one of them picks the right quarterback to help rebuild the Niners. Knowing each man the way I do, I expect they both know it."

Now, it's worth pointing out that both Washington team president Bruce Allen and head coach Jay Gruden said just last week in Mobile that the plan is to bring Cousins back to the 'Skins, and Allen went a step further to say the team wants to get a long-term deal done. 

If the Redskins want Cousins long-term, they can get that deal done. The price tag will be high, perhaps even more than the $20 million per year Lynch mentioned, but not unheard of at the position. 

If the Redskins are intrigued by a trade offer, however, there seems to be little reason the hire of Lynch will change San Francisco's reported interest. 

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New Giants QB Colt McCoy thinks both Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones have 'a ton of potential'

New Giants QB Colt McCoy thinks both Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones have 'a ton of potential'

Veteran quarterback Colt McCoy has spent over a decade in the NFL and been in the same room as some talented quarterbacks along the way. In 2019, McCoy had an up-close look at Redskins first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, as the two -- along with Case Keenum -- competed for the starting job in training camp and spent the entire season in the same QB room.

After spending six years with the Redskins, McCoy signed a one-year deal in March to stay in the NFC East with the Giants. in New York, Jones will likely serve as the backup to Daniel Jones, another first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft.

During his introductory media session with the Giants on Wednesday, McCoy was naturally asked about the Redskins second-year passer. The veteran used the opportunity to praise both Haskins and his new young quarterback teammate.

"I think Dwayne has a ton of potential, just like Daniel," McCoy said. "I think Daniel played a little bit more [last] year, so he probably has a little more experience. But both of those guys were highly sought after in the draft last year. They both had great college careers and they both have a ton of skill at playing the position."

Last season, the Giants won both matchups between the two squads. Haskins made his NFL debut in the Redskins Week 4 loss to New York, and looked uninspiring. Coming in for an injured Keenum, Haskins threw three interceptions, as New York won handily.

But when the two teams squared off in Week 16, Haskins was a different and much-improved quarterback. The Ohio State product completed 12 of his 15 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and was on his way to the best game of his young career before an ankle injury in the third quarter ended his afternoon, and then his season.

Jones also dazzled in that Week 16 matchup, a game that resulted in a Giants' 41-35 overtime win. The Giants passer turned in his best game as a pro, throwing for a career-high five touchdowns and 352 yards in the victory.

After spending a season working alongside Haskins, McCoy is looking forward to having the opportunity to work with another young quarterback in Jones.

"I know Dwayne is very talented throwing the football," he said. "I’m excited to work with Daniel after having worked with Dwayne last year. I know he has a bright future. His future is bright, his ceiling is high and he seems like a really great person."

Now with the Giants, McCoy is excited for the chance to face Washington, a place he called home for six seasons.

"I get to play against the Redskins for at least this year, and we’ll see what happens," he said. "It should be fun."

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Buffalo Bills GM believes the Redskins misused Josh Norman in their system

Buffalo Bills GM believes the Redskins misused Josh Norman in their system

When it comes to Josh Norman's largely disappointing stint with the Redskins, the blame pie for that stint has two dominant slices.

One of those slices belongs to Norman, obviously. His performance in Washington never matched the massive contract he signed in 2016, and by his last year with the team, he was essentially unplayable. 

He also was involved in lots of non-football activities — from Dancing with the Stars to appearing on pregame shows to jumping over bulls in Spain — and while NFL players absolutely deserve to live their lives the way they want, those things were easy to criticize as his on-field production waned.

However, the front office and coaches own a slice of the pie, too, and it's a hefty one. The Burgundy and Gold made Norman the highest-paid corner in the sport and then inexplicably put him in situations that didn't suit him over and over again. Instead of letting him use his instincts more in zone coverage, for instance, the Redskins left him in spots where his lack of speed was exposed. 

That idea that Norman was misused is something Bills GM Brandon Beane brought up on Thursday. Norman signed with Buffalo in March after Washington released him in February:

Some fans won't want to give Norman any excuse for what transpired during his tenure with the Redskins, but Beane definitely has a point. Even though Norman is much older now than he was when he landed in D.C., don't be surprised if he has a resurgence in 2020 as long as Beane and the Bills are true to their word and devise a better plan for him.

Now, the promising part for Redskins fans is that Ron Rivera has a reputation for getting the absolute most out of players, something that Kendall Fuller and many others have noted. So while Norman's talents were wasted to a certain extent in the past, those kinds of failures will hopefully be much more limited in the future.

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