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Why reports of a new 49ers QB could impact Redskins, Kirk Cousins

Why reports of a new 49ers QB could impact Redskins, Kirk Cousins

With no quarterbacks on the roster, the 49ers certainly need to add a passer in free agency. Reports show that new head coach Kyle Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch have done just that.

A journeyman QB since he entered the league in 2009, Hoyer experienced some success while with Cleveland in 2014. That year, Hoyer started 13 games, winning seven, and throwing for more than 3,300 yards to go with 12 TDs vs 13 INTs. He completed just 55 percent of his passes but averaged nearly 14 yards-per-completion.

Why does Hoyer's 2014 season with the Browns matter? Because Shanahan was calling plays that season in Cleveland.

Clearly, the Niners new coach has a familiarity with Hoyer, enough that his team has made the former Michigan State passer the first QB of his new regime.

What does any of this mean for Redskins fans? San Francisco has long been reported to be the premiere, and perhaps only, possible trade partner if Washington looked to deal QB Kirk Cousins. 

Signing Hoyer in no way shuts the door on a Cousins trade for the Niners, but it does push the door a little bit closer. The team Lynch and Shanahan have inherited is a mess, in need of a full rebuild coming off a 2-14 season. 

To acquire Cousins will require giving up assets, likely the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft and more. It's possible that if the Niners new brain trust waits it out, they could make a run at Cousins in free agency a year from now without having to give up assets.

San Francisco is not in position to win anything of consequence this year, with or without Cousins. Armed with six-year contracts, maybe Lynch and Shanahan feel comfortable building their team for the long haul, and that includes a bridge QB like Hoyer. Bringing in Hoyer does not mean a trade is impossible, but it doesn't make it more likely either. 

Around the NFL, reaction to the Hoyer signing varied.


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Ricky Jean-Francois signs with the Packers, per report

Ricky Jean-Francois signs with the Packers, per report

Before last season with the Redskins, Ricky Jean-Francois had made the playoffs five consecutive times, doing so twice with San Francisco, twice with Indianapolis and then once with Washington.

Now, the veteran — who was released by the 'Skins on March 15 — has given himself a strong chance of getting back to the postseason again in 2017 by reportedly signing with the Packers on Thursday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Jean-Francois and Green Bay agreed to a one-year, $3-million contract.


The 30-year-old lineman visited with the Bears and Seahawks before choosing to sign with Green Bay. Former Redskin Chris Baker, now in Tampa Bay, had also attempted to recruit Jean-Francois on Twitter to join him with the Bucs.

By cutting Jean-Francois last week, Washington will save $3 million toward their 2017 salary cap. Some have also speculated whether his criticism of the franchise was a factor in the transaction.

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DeSean Jackson chose Tampa because he wanted a young QB with 'a lot of upside'

DeSean Jackson chose Tampa because he wanted a young QB with 'a lot of upside'

Kirk Cousins is a 28-year-old quarterback, which is pretty youthful by NFL standards, and he's thrown for 4,100+ and 4,900+ yards in the past two seasons, suggesting that his career is on the rise.

But when DeSean Jackson was evaluating where to ink his next contract during his time on the open market, he saw another passer who is younger than Cousins and, in his mind, has more potential than Cousins, too.

And that is one of the main reasons why Jackson left the Redskins and signed with the Buccaneers.

"I think it was a great fit, a great opportunity, a great up-and-coming, young team," the receiver said during an interview on ESPN's First Take. "Jameis [Winston], obviously, in my decision making, I really wanted to go with a young quarterback, someone who had a lot of upside to him and I think he was the one to fit that position."

Like Cousins, Winston has been a full-time starter for two seasons in the league, and like Cousins, he's posted some gaudy numbers.

Most of the numbers, however, don't stack up to Washington's QB. Cousins edges out Winston in touchdowns, completion percentage and yards, and has also taken fewer sacks and thrown fewer picks than the former Heisman Trophy winner, in the last two years.


With those stats in mind, it's safe to say the Michigan State product is superior to the Florida State product today. But after hearing Jackson say he valued Winston's "upside," it's not hard to take that a step further and conclude that Jackson believes Winston's ceiling is higher than Cousins' ceiling. On top of that, the latter's contract situation probably was a factor to some extent.

Speaking of Cousins, the pass catcher was asked to talk about his old signal caller. His response was complimentary — but also quite short.

"I think he has what it takes," Jackson said. "At times, we probably needed more out of him and everybody else on the team as well, too. Kirk Cousins, obviously his numbers are off the charts. He had crazy numbers. But moving forward man, we're in Tampa now." 

It was a speedy answer from a speedy player. And while that speedy player did speak highly of Cousins, he's opting to wind down his career with Winston instead, which basically declares that he decided Winston must have "what it takes" more than Cousins.

Jackson is certainly moving forward in Tampa, but whether his production will move upward with Winston isn't as certain.