Vikings to make Kirk Cousins richest QB: NFL moves roundup

Former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to sign a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million US contract with the Vikings, according to multiple reports.

29-year-old expected to sign 3-year, $84 million fully guaranteed deal

Former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will reportedly sign with the Minnesota Vikings. (Bill Kostroun/Associated Press)

Former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to sign a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million US contract with the Vikings, according to multiple reports.

ESPN reports the deal will go through Thursday.

The value of the contract will make Cousins, 29, the highest paid quarterback in the league.

According to multiple reports, Cousins informed other suitors — believed to be the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets — his initial free agency stop was going to be in Minnesota.

"No final decisions have been made," Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, said Tuesday, per ESPN. "The plan is to visit Minnesota first. That's all we can say right now."

Cousins had three 4,000-yard seasons with the Redskins. Washington used the franchise tag to retain Cousins the past two offseasons but opted to agree to trade for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in February, signaling the end of the Cousins era.

Broncos to sign Keenum

John Elway is looking to free agency for his fix at quarterback following a season in which all three of his drafted QBs fell flat in Denver.

After sitting out the playoffs in each of the last two years following their Super Bowl 50 triumph, the Broncos have apparently found their next signal-caller. Case Keenum plans to sign with Denver when free agency opens Wednesday, ESPN reported early Tuesday.

That would leave the Vikings, Cardinals and Jets vying to land ex-Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is expected to sign a record-breaking contract this week.

The 30-year-old Keenum is considered the second-best QB available on the open market. He guided Minnesota to the NFC championship game after replacing an injured Sam Bradford last season.

Keenum went 11-3 with 3,547 yards passing, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions and threw that last-second heave to Stephon Diggs to stun the New Orleans Saints 29-24 in the playoffs.

The Vikings, who were subsequently blown out at Philadelphia in the conference championship, decided to let all three of their QBs — Keenum, Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater — test free agency..

Keenum is a player the Broncos know well because Gary Kubiak, now the Broncos' senior personnel adviser, coached him for two seasons while he was head coach of the Houston Texans.

Case Keenum guided the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game after replacing an injured Sam Bradford last season. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Brees remaining a Saint?

Two people familiar with the contract say Drew Brees has agreed to a two-year, $50 million extension with the New Orleans Saints.

Brees, who turned 39 in January, was due to become a free agent on Wednesday. But he has said he wanted to finish his career in New Orleans, where he has played since 2006, won a Super Bowl and led what has been one of the most productive offences in the NFL since he and coach Sean Payton arrived.

Last season, Brees completed an NFL-record 72 percent of his passes for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He ranked fourth in the NFL in yards passing and the Saints ranked second in the NFL in total offence.

Brees has passed for 70,445 yards and 488 touchdowns in 17 seasons. By the time Brees new contract expires, he could very well be the NFL's all-time leader in yards and touchdowns passing. Currently, Peyton Manning holds those marks with 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns. Brett Favre also is ahead of Brees — for now — with 71, 838 yards and 508 TDs passing.

McCown stays with Jets

The New York Jets have agreed to terms on a one-year deal to bring back quarterback Josh McCown, agent Mike McCartney announced on Twitter.

The Jets were believed to be one of the suitors for free-agent prize Kirk Cousins, but the former Washington quarterback is visiting Minnesota on Wednesday. With the possibility looming that Cousins could sign with the Vikings before ever meeting with the Jets, New York instead turned back to its 38-year-old starter who had a career-best season last year.

A person with direct knowledge of McCown's contract tells The Associated Press the one-year deal, which will be signed when the NFL's free-agent period begins Wednesday, is worth $10 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced it.

Other reports said the Jets will also add former Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, at about $5 million.
when free agency officially opens on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

Bradford to sign with Cardinals

A person with knowledge of the situation said quarterback Sam Bradford and the Arizona Cardinals have agreed to a one-year, $20 million contract with a second-year option, also for $20 million. 

Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, is known for his strong and accurate arm but he has struggled with injuries. 

Pro Bowler Robinson says he has deal with Bears

Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson tells ESPN he plans to sign with the Chicago Bears. The 2015 Pro Bowl selection says he intends to sign a three-year, $42 million contract.

Robinson says he was impressed by new Bears coach Matt Nagy, saying "I like what he did" as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Jacksonville's third play of last season.

Chiefs eyeing WR Watkins

The Kansas City Chiefs have filled a glaring need at receiver by reportedly agreeing to a deal with Sammy Watkins for three years and $48 million with $30 million in guarantees.

The Chiefs have been looking for a playmaking wide receiver to pair with speedster Tyreek Hill since last off-season

Watkins, 24, was considered one of the premier talents on the market. The 2014 fourth overall pick of the Buffalo Bills spent last season with the Los Angeles Rams, where he caught 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns, a far cry from the 60 passes Watkins hauled in for 1,047 yards and nine TDs in 2015.

Trey Burton to leave Eagles for Bears

Tight end Trey Burton, who threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in Philadelphia's victory over New England in the Super Bowl, has agreed to a four-year contract worth $32 million, according to two people familiar with the deal.

The Eagles also lost another tight end, releasing veteran Brent Celek to save $4 million under the salary cap. Celek was the longest-tenured player on the team, missing only one game in 11 seasons.

Burton threw out the first pitch before the Philadelphia Phillies played the Tampa Bay Rays in pre-season baseball on Tuesday, re-enacting his TD pass to Foles. The versatile Burton gets a chance to be the No. 1 tight end on the Bears after catching 23 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in Philadelphia's championship season.

Bills adding Star?

Star Lotulelei's familiarity with Bills coach Sean McDermott has the former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle heading to Buffalo once the NFL's free agency period opens.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the fifth-year player reached an agreement to sign a five-year contract with Buffalo. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the signing won't become official until the NFL's business year opens on Wednesday.

Lotulelei was a five-year starter with Carolina after being selected by the Panthers in the first round of the 2013 draft out of Utah. The native of Tonga is listed at 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, and fills an immediate hole on Buffalo's defensive front. Buffalo has also agreed to re-sign fellow defensive lineman Kyle Williams.

Dolphins close in on receivers Wilson, Amendola

Receiver Albert Wilson is closing in on a $24 million, three-year deal with the Dolphins. Miami traded top receiver Jarvis Landry to Cleveland and has a need. They also are near an agreement with Patriots receiver Danny Amendola

The Dolphins also cut linebacker Lawrence Timmons after just one season with them. Timmons went AWOL on the eve of last year's opener, was briefly suspended and played poorly when he returned. He signed a $12 million, two-year contract in 2017 after 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His departure clears $5.5 million in cap space for Miami.

Packers release Jordy Nelson

The Green Bay Packers have released veteran receiver Jordy Nelson, the third-leading receiver in franchise history and one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' top targets in the passing game.

The Packers announced the move Tuesday, a day before teams can begin to sign free agents.

Nelson had 550 receptions and 69 touchdown catches in 10 seasons in Green Bay. But his production declined last season with Rodgers sidelined much of the year by a collarbone injury.


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