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Even for one year, a Browns-Kirk Cousins pairing doesn’t make sense – Washington Redskins Blog



Kirk Cousins won’t be with the Washington Redskins anymore, but until he signs elsewhere he still factors in the conversation — in Washington and a number of other cities. That leads us to this week’s mailbag.

John Keim: It just doesn’t make sense for Cleveland to be on this list — for either side.

Let’s look at it from Cousins’ perspective and put aside money for a second. The latter almost always determines a player’s decision, but if there are options and it’s close then it will be about other factors.

Cousins has said quite often that his No. 1 goal is winning. The Browns have gone 1-31 combined the last two years. What makes anyone think they’re that close to turning the corner to where Cousins would be tempted? Yes, they have some intriguing pieces and have compiled a potentially excellent front office, but they have the same head coach who … has won one game in two years. Cousins turns 30 in August; let someone else — a younger player or a veteran without many options — put their faith in the Browns.

Granted, if he’s tagged and signs the tender then, yes, Washington could indeed trade him. But, as has been mentioned often, all Cousins has to do is not sign the tender. Until he signs it, the Redskins can’t trade him and he’d count on their salary cap when the new league year begins (unless they rescind the tag beforehand. Otherwise, they’re killing their cap). If tagged, there’s a real good chance Cousins’ side would file a grievance anyway under the belief it goes against why the tag was put into place.

Also, there are ways for Cousins’ side to let the Browns know he won’t sign a long-term deal with them.

Now, let’s look from Cleveland’s perspective. In your scenario, the Browns would have a rookie quarterback. Yes, they’d be wise to add a veteran who can help that player’s development — through teaching and playing well enough that the rookie can sit and learn. They absolutely need someone who can guide them; heck, DeShone Kizer could have used that sort of player last year.

But would you really trade a draft pick and then keep Cousins at $34.5 million for one year just to mentor a young quarterback for one season? That’s insane. Yes, they have the cap space but that doesn’t mean you blow it that way. Cousins is a good quarterback; to invest all that in one year you’d better be landing one who is the final piece of a Super Bowl team and on the way to the Hall of Fame. Before you say, “But it’s the Browns” I go back to the front office they have compiled. That group isn’t dumb. And even the biggest Cousins fans out there would have to realize such a move would be incredibly dumb. It’s hard to imagine any other team trading for Cousins knowing that, if tagged, his recent history shows the starting salary will be the equivalent of the tag number — and there won’t be any long-term deal agreed to beforehand. Good luck with all that.

The Browns were willing to trade for Alex Smith until the Redskins won that battle. However, Smith counts only $17 million on the cap this season and, at the time, was in the last year of his deal. Cleveland wasn’t going to sign him to a long-term deal. It was truly an affordable one-and-done with a quality quarterback.

Cousins would be anything but affordable. There are cheaper alternatives for the Browns if they want to get a veteran quarterback who can play until the rookie is ready.

There will be better options for Cousins. There are more affordable options for the Browns.

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More proof Bills’ Josh Allen is an MVP candidate? Third-and-22 conversion – Buffalo Bills Blog



ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — To think it all started with a miscommunication.

In Week 1 of the 2019 season, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw receiver Cole Beasley a pass he wasn’t expecting. Determined not to let that happen again, they discussed the route ad nauseam afterward. That paid off in Sunday’s wild 35-32 win against the Los Angeles Rams.

Allen found Beasley for a first down on third-and-22 during the fourth quarter. It was perhaps the team’s biggest play of the young season after Los Angeles roared back from a 28-3 deficit to take the lead. At the very least, it was one of two plays on Buffalo’s go-ahead drive that saved what was nearly a historic collapse.

“Honestly, it just turned into some backyard ball. Me and Cole have talked about this route many a time,” Allen said. “Cole found a spot in the middle [of the field], made a good catch, knifed upfield and got the first down. It was a huge play for us.”

Buffalo controlled the game for two-and-a-half quarters, leading by 25 midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles answered with 29 unanswered points to take the lead with just under three minutes to play.

Allen — who entered the game playing like an MVP candidate, with a league-high 727 passing yards and seven total TDs — needed a touchdown drive with his team trailing by four points. He found Beasley for a 19-yard gain on the first play of the go-ahead drive before taking a long sack. Two plays later, Allen rolled to his right and hit an open Beasley in the middle of the field.

“You never really know how a team is going to react. It’s those moments where we find out what we’re really made of,” Beasley said. “Because that’s tough, man, when you’re up 28-3, and they come back and take the lead from you with not much time left? That can deflate a team. But these guys are all dogs, and they don’t shy away from that. They’re all competitive as hell, and they fight to the finish.”

The other play that saved the Bills happened when Allen finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Kroft, giving Buffalo the lead for good. Allen finished with 311 passing yards and five touchdowns, including one on the ground. Through three games, he ranks second in the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, with 1,038 and 10.

Plays such as the long third-down conversion are a microcosm of what Allen brings to the field, especially late in games. His 10 game-winning drives since 2018 tie that of Houston’s Deshaun Watson for most in the NFL in that span.

“The guys play for him,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “Like all games, I’m sure there’s some plays he wants back, but at the end of the day, to come back in the NFL and win the game, that’s tough to do, and he’s now done it twice in the past two weeks. It just goes back to the ability to stay calm in critical moments of the game and have that winning mindset.”

The Bills will take that mindset and their three-game win streak into Week 4. They play Sunday at the Las Vegas Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

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After victory, Matt Patricia keeps proper perspective, focuses on Detroit Lions ‘being consistent’



Facing criticism and questions about his job security, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia won a game for the first time in 11 months on Sunday.

The Lions’ 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals, though, didn’t provide him with a sense of relief.

“I don’t ride the roller coaster. I just got to stay consistent,” Patricia said. “I think it’s hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster. I think it’s hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster. I think when you do that, you just try to hope it stops when you’re at the high point and not the down point.

“For us, it’s just about being consistent. It’s early in the season. We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to learn, you know. There’s a lot of plays in this game we’ve got to do better, so we’re going to go back to work and try to improve. That’s the bottom line. It’s the NFL. It’s every week.”

Patricia talked about similar things with his team in the week leading up to the game against Arizona after Detroit had double-digit leads against Chicago and Green Bay and lost them both. Not being affected by the ebbs and flows of a game was something multiple players and Patricia talked about.

Before the 2020 season, then-Lions owner Martha Ford and current Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said they expected major improvement this season, including playing meaningful games in December.

When Hamp took over ownership in June, she said “major improvement is the goal.” Then the Lions started 0-2, losing in similar fashion to many of Detroit’s defeats in the first two seasons under Patricia.

Then, on Sunday, the Lions had a fourth-quarter comeback under Patricia for only the second time in his tenure, which now stands at 10-24-1. Detroit, meanwhile, had 11 fourth-quarter leads evaporate in two-plus seasons with Patricia at the helm.

After, though, Patricia deflected attention, instead focusing on what it meant for his players, who hadn’t won a game since an Oct. 27, 2019, win over the New York Giants. Patricia specifically mentioned the energy and joy he saw in the locker room after the win that made him happy for his team.

“Love to win. Love it. It’s great. It was awesome. Love it for the guys,” Patricia said. “But, you know, there’s a lot to learn from too. If you go into the approach that everything’s great, from that standpoint you’re missing a great opportunity to get better and to learn from what happened yesterday.

“And certainly in yesterday’s game we made the play at the end of the game to win, and give credit to the players, they are the ones who did it. But for coaches, we have to stay consistent and just try to give these guys every tool we can to get better each week.”

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Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ‘pissed’ over tackle that injured RB Chris Carson



Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that running back Chris Carson has a first-degree knee strain and took issue with the play that caused his injury.

Carson was hurt in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday when defensive tackle Trysten Hill executed what’s known as a gator-roll tackle. He brought down Carson from behind and, with both players on the ground, continued to hold onto the running back’s left leg while rolling over. Hill was not penalized on the play.

“Yeah, I was really pissed about that one,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with that, but I was pissed because that guy hurt him, unfortunately.”

A source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Carson has what’s considered a one-to-two-week injury, but the team wants to see how he feels and recovers this week.

“We’ll just have to see how that goes,” Carroll said.

The Seahawks, 3-0 and atop the NFC West, play at the Miami Dolphins next week then return home to host the Minnesota Vikings before a bye in Week 6.

Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright also objected to Hill’s tackle and called for the NFL to punish him beyond a fine.

In a tweet to the NFL, Wright wrote that “this needs to be addressed ASAP!! Doing dirty dumb malicious s— like this can end someone’s season! This is clearly intentional and getting fined isn’t enough. Im all for guys playing hard but I have zero tolerance for this.”

Safety Quandre Diggs quoted Wright’s tweet and said Hill “should’ve been thrown out!”

The Seahawks were hit hard by injuries Sunday for the second week in a row. In addition to losing Carson, All-Pro safety Jamal Adams (groin) and rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks (knee) suffered what Carroll called first-degree strains. Rookie right guard Damien Lewis sprained his ankle. Carroll said it’s not a high-ankle sprain and that Lewis has a chance to play this week.

Carroll said Adams’ groin was “really bothering him” postgame.

“He was really bummed out because he wants to play badly and you can imagine how important it is to him,” Carroll said. “But he too had a first-degree strain so we’ll see how that goes and we’ll just … go day-by-day with that.”

Brooks, the Seahawks’ first-round pick, made his first career start Sunday in place of Bruce Irvin, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 2. The Seahawks also lost nickelback Marquise Blair to the same injury in that game.

The Seahawks played Sunday without starting right cornerback Quinton Dunbar (knee) and backup safety Lano Hill (hip), who would be a candidate to start if Adams has to miss time. Carroll said both players, particularly Hill, have a chance to play this week.

“Quinton, we’re working on his knee,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure that he bounces back. We’ll see how he does. We thought he would make it through the week and it just didn’t improve. He had some treatment and some stuff done that gives him a chance. We’ll have to wait and see though.”

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