According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Redskins were "nowhere close" to completing a long-term deal with free agent Kirk Cousins coming out of last month's Senior Bowl.
La Canfora believes Washington "may very well have to apply the franchise tag" to keep Cousins from hitting the market. Cousins is a lock to ask for considerably more than the seven-year, $97.1 million deal similar-style player Andy Dalton signed in 2014 with the Bengals. In order to tag Cousins, the Redskins would have to commit to him $19.7 million guaranteed for the 2016 season.
New Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt said his top priority will be to jump start San Diego's running game.
The Chargers ranked 13th in the NFL in rushing offense with Whisenhunt as OC in 2013. They fell to 30th and 31st the past two years. "That is probably the biggest thing we have to do," Whisenhunt said, "because then your play action builds off of that, your time of possession increases where you can control the ball and you are in better third-down situations. All of those things tie in together." Whisenhunt continued to praise Melvin Gordon's receiving ability, and promised to mold the Chargers' 2016 blocking scheme to suit Gordon's strengths.
9 News Denver's Mike Klis reports the Broncos have not yet begun discussing a long-term contract with free agent OLB Von Miller.
Longtime Broncos beat writer Klis takes this as an "indication" Miller will be hit with the franchise tag before the March 1 franchise deadline. The Broncos appear to be taking the same approach with Miller as they did with Demaryius Thomas in the 2015 offseason. Thomas received the franchise tag last March 2, then signed a five-year, $70 million deal two weeks before training camp.
9 News Denver's Mike Klis reports the Broncos "have begun negotiating in earnest" with free agent DL Malik Jackson.
The Broncos have not done the same with fellow free agent Brock Osweiler, a tactic taken "out of respect" for Peyton Manning, per Klis. Klis does clarify that "not enough progress has been made" at this point to prevent Jackson from testing the open market, where the 26-year-old could strike it filthy rich. Klis expects the Broncos to use the franchise tag on free agent OLB Von Miller.
ESPN Colts reporter Mike Wells doesn't see impending free agent Matt Forte as a fit for Indianapolis.
Frank Gore isn't the Colts' long-term answer at running back but neither is Forte, who turned 30 in December. The idea of Gore and Forte forming a one-two punch, though appealing to the Colts, probably wouldn't interest Forte. Instead of pursuing a running back, the Colts would be wise to beef up their offensive line to create more running room for Gore.
Eagles DC Jim Schwartz said Connor Barwin "fits real well" at defensive end in his 4-3 scheme.
An outside linebacker in outgoing DC Billy Davis' 3-4, Barwin is being projected as a rotational end under Schwartz, sharing time with LE Vinny Curry and RE Brandon Graham. "I think most of the plays that he made were rushing the passer," Schwartz said of Barwin. "I think that size-wise, effort-wise, skill set-wise, he fits well there." We still wouldn't be entirely shocked if Barwin went on the offseason trade market.
ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner does not expect the Rams to use the franchise tag this offseason.
Starting corners Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson are both headed for free agency but neither is a serious candidate for the franchise tag. The Rams would like to retain both players and it's possible they could use the transition tag to keep one of them from hitting the market. If it comes down to that, Wagoner believes the Rams are more likely to tag Jenkins than Johnson.
Aaron Rodgers said his surgically repaired knee feels great.
Rodgers had his left knee scoped last month, but was back on the golf course this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. "It was just good to be out there walking normally," he said. "It’s nice to not have any clunking around or anything, so it was good." It looks like Rodgers' recovery is going smooth.