Bill Belichick accepts a hefty fine from the NFL

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Bill Belichick accepts a hefty fine from the NFL

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick 50,000 and Washington Redskins assistant Kyle Shanahan 25,000 on Wednesday for their conduct toward replacement officials.The fines come as the league and its referees' union were meeting amid reports they were close to ending the lockout of the regular officials.Belichick grabbed an official's arm at the end of Sunday night's game after the Ravens kicked a winning field goal. Shanahan was cited by the league for "abuse of officials" in Washington's loss to Cincinnati."It was inappropriate for me to contact the official. I take responsibility for what happened," Belichick said in statement released by the team. " I accept the discipline and I apologize for the incident Sunday night in Baltimore."Shanahan, the son of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for berating officials in the final seconds of the Redskins' 38-31 loss. He also confronted an official in a stadium tunnel after the game."Any time you do what he did you're going to get fined, and that's the nature of the game," Mike Shanahan said. "If you don't abide by the rules, you're going to pay a penalty and usually after a guy pays 25 grand, they usually learn very quickly."Also, the NFL said Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh won't be fined for making contact with a game official during Sunday's 31-30 win over New England. Ray Anderson, the NFL's vice president of football operations, said Harbaugh did not violate the rule regarding abuse of officials.On Monday, the league fined Broncos coach John Fox 30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio 25,000 for berating officials during a loss to Atlanta on Sept. 17.

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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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NBA trade deadline: Wizards taking aggressive approach, willing to risk 'rental' to upgrade

NBA trade deadline: Wizards taking aggressive approach, willing to risk 'rental' to upgrade

The Wizards are looking for scoring to add to the bench and a defender, and they're willing to risk to swap a pick for a rental for the last 27 games of the season if it's the right player to make them strong contenders in the East, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Wednesday.

The trade deadline closes Thursday at 3 p.m. ET and there are a lot of possibilities in play. As it draws near, more activity will happen around the league and the picture will grow clearer exactly what the move will be for Washington (34-21) but they are being aggressive as buyers.

At this stage, it's difficult to find a two-way player without giving up assets that don't include picks and a rotation player. 

[RELATED: Wizards have found mixed results at trade deadline over the years]

If a player has an expiring contract and an unrestricted free agent this summer, he could be free to leave without compensation. Last season, the Wizards wouldn't part with a first-round pick for Ryan Anderson for that reason but did for Markieff Morris who is under contract through 2019.

This year is different. Coming out of the All-Star break, the Wizards find themselves in third place in the East with a chance to leapfrog the No. 2 Boston Celtics and challenge the No. 1 Cleveland Cavaliers who are vulnerable without Kevin Love for six weeks and J.R. Smith still not back in the lineup.

The Wizards have a first- and second-round pick in the June draft.

[RELATED: Pacers testing trade market for superstar Paul George]