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Notebook: Cousins derby reportedly down to four

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The Sports Xchange
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints during their game in November 19. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints during their game in November 19. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

The Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings reportedly are the final four teams expected to be vying for quarterback Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Saturday, citing league sources.

The teams in question are planning how to structure a contract for Cousins, with the clubs reportedly planning short-term deals -- potentially three years -- with a high guarantee in the contract, per Schefter.

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Cousins, who has played two seasons for the Washington Redskins on a franchise tag, topped the 4,000-yard mark for the third straight year in 2017. He finished with 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The 29-year-old's time in Washington likely is running short, however, after the Redskins agreed to a deal with fellow quarterback Alex Smith on Jan. 30.

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That deal can become official on March 14, the first day of the new league year. Cousins will become a free agent on that day as well.

Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams said earlier this week that he doesn't think the team would try to tag Cousins for a third straight season.

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--While Larry Fitzgerald routinely finds himself on the other end of throws, the decorated Arizona Cardinals wide receiver reportedly made his best pitch to Kirk Cousins when the two had an impromptu meeting at an Atlanta airport.

Cousins posted a picture of himself and Fitzgerald on Instagram, with a message that the 11-time Pro Bowl wideout had been recruiting him.

"Ran into Fitz in the airport yesterday. He's a GREAT recruiter!" Cousins wrote.

Cousins, who has played two seasons for the Washington Redskins on a franchise tag, topped the 4,000-yard mark for the third straight year in 2017.

--Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he will testify in front of commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in the appeal hearing in Palm Beach, Fla.

Jones declared that he will be under oath as he bids to reverse the league's request for reimbursement of legal fees in excess of $2 million. The fees are related to Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over a domestic violence incident and Jones' threatened litigation over Goodell's contract extension.

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The Cowboys filed a letter of support in the Elliott case as the running back fought the NFL's suspension. Jones threatened to sue the league and retained David Boies over Goodell's contract but never made a filing as part of the extension negotiations for the commissioner.

NFL owners are citing a rule -- Resolution FC-6 -- that was introduced in 1997 that says if an owner participates in bringing litigation against other owners, he must reimburse them for the legal fees.

--Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reiterated that he expects wide receiver Dez Bryant to remain with the team.

Bryant's contract, which calls for a $12.5 million base salary next season and account for a $16.5 million cap charge, is the source of consternation for Dallas, which wants to restructure the deal.

Jones did not want to address specifics of the contracts while speaking with reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, but he left no doubt that the Cowboys want Bryant on the roster.

"As we sit right here, yes," Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. "It takes two to do anything with his contract."

--Safety Kurt Coleman is not leaving the NFC South.

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Coleman has agreed to a three-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, multiple outlets reported. The contract is worth up to $18 million, with Coleman receiving $6.5 million in the first season, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.

The 29-year-old was released by the Carolina Panthers on Monday, a move that will save the team $5.25 million on its salary cap in advance of free agency.

The Saints' acquisition of Coleman will soften the blow as the team is expected to lose free-agent safety Kenny Vaccaro.

--Quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Josh Allen took full advantage when projected No. 1 overall pick Sam Darnold opted not to throw during Saturday's highly anticipated throwing session at the NFL Scouting Combine, delivering dazzling performances that scouts won't soon forget.

Allen, a physically-imposing quarterback from Wyoming, was the obvious star of the morning quarterback session, at one point drawing audible oohs and aahhs from a normally silent audience of talent evaluators after throwing a particularly pretty deep ball that traveled at least 70 yards in the air inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

While perhaps lacking Allen's best fireball, Rosen was even more impressive when it came to accuracy. The former UCLA Bruins star threw strikes to all levels of the field, including three consecutive picture-perfect vertical routes -- which stood out even more since they came moments after Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winning Baker Mayfield fluttered his three attempts at the same throw.

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--Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was considered a first-round pick and potential riser entering the NFL Scouting Combine. But instead of working out for NFL teams this weekend, he is headed home.

On Friday during the medical portion of the Combine, Hurst was red-flagged due to a serious heart condition. According to one source, the diagnosis isn't simply a precaution, it is a "very" serious issue that is potentially life-threatening.

Hurst played 38 straight games to finish his career in Ann Arbor, and durability wasn't expected to be a hurdle with his draft evaluation. It is unclear if Hurst had any prior knowledge of a potentially serious issue.

--The notion of playing under the franchise tag isn't sitting well with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who plans to hold out as he bids for a long-term contract.

"The team decides to exercise the franchise tag. I'm considering not playing on it," Landry said in a 10-minute teaser of a documentary called Juice, via the Sun-Sentinel. "The franchise tag is not a good deal for me."

The Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Landry last week, with the receiver tag expected to cost $16.2 million on a one-year deal. They have offered the three-time Pro Bowl selection a long-term deal with an average of $13 million per season, according to the newspaper.

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The tag is non-exclusive, which means Landry can negotiate with other teams. It would cost another team two first-round draft picks for the right to sign him.

--The Chicago Bears could be a potential trade destination for disgruntled Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, according to a published report.

The teams have had talks about a trade centered on Landry and Bears starting running back Jordan Howard, NBC Sports Chicago reported Saturday, citing sources.

However, profootballtalk.com quoted a league source that said there was "no way" such a trade would be completed.

Last week, Miami placed the franchise tag on Landry, who is balking at the idea of playing under those conditions and instead is seeking a long-term deal.

--Amid speculation that he could be changing addresses, it appears Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will only be moving more toward the middle of the field.

The New York Giants are planning on shifting longtime cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie to safety, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rodgers-Cromartie, 31, started five of 15 games last season and failed to record an interception for the second time in his career. The possibility of saving $6.5 million in salary cap space made him a prime candidate to be released.

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Instead, Rapoport reported, New York's new coaching staff will have Rodgers-Cromartie competing with Darian Thompson for a starting job. Thompson, a 2016 third-round draft pick, appeared in all 16 games last season, registering 75 tackles.

--New Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis might not be at full speed for the team's first spring workouts.

Davis, who agreed to a one-year contract with the Bills earlier this week, told local media in Buffalo that he might have to ease into the offseason conditioning program while he continues to come back from groin surgery.

Davis was medically cleared last month following groin surgery that was performed late last season. He made 21 tackles in five games prior to being released by the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 9.

--Former Detroit Lions wide receiver/defensive back Dorne Dibble died at his home in Northville, Mich., the team announced. He was 88.

The team did not divulge the cause of death, but the Detroit Free Press reported that Dibble's attorney Jim Acho said his client died of pneumonia.

Dibble played with the Lions for six seasons from 1951, 1953-57 and was a member of the championship teams in 1953 and 1957. He missed the 1952 season to serve in the United States Air Force.

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