NFL Free Agents 2016: Rumors, Predictions on Arian Foster and Kirk Cousins

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NFL Free Agents 2016: Rumors, Predictions on Arian Foster and Kirk Cousins
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Arian Foster Era in Houston could be coming to an end.

The Houston Texans' all-time leading rusher could be looking for a new home in 2016 because he's owed a lot of money.

NFL free agency's rumor mill has been dry, but the news of Foster is the first big-name domino to potentially change teams this offseason.

Let's dive into this Foster news, as well as an update on Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Texans Could Move On from Foster

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle dropped a bombshell on the NFL world on Thursday, reporting that the Texans may cut ties with Foster:

The Texans could attempt to restructure the deal to lower his salary-cap figure, or they could move on and release Foster prior to the start of free agency in March. Foster turns 30 in August, an age when many NFL running backs begin to decline. Multiple sources not authorized to speak publicly expect the Texans to ultimately release Foster and for him to sign with another NFL team.

Foster is expected to attempt to try to resurrect his NFL career next season and has made steady progress in his recovery from the Achilles surgery. Injured in October, Foster faces six to nine months of recovery time, according to Dr. Ken Jung, a foot and ankle surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles who doesn’t treat Foster.

This is a huge development and could end up being a big mistake by the Texans. Houston's running attack suffered heavily when Foster went down for the year with a ruptured Achilles. Alfred Blue averaged less than four yards per carry, and backup Chris Polk averaged less than 3.5 yards per touch.

Meanwhile, Foster has run for more than 1,000 yards four times, including a 1,246-yard season in 2014. Even though he may be turning 30 this year, he's still a valuable running back to have on a team.

Expect the New England Patriots to be heavily involved in pursuing Foster, as well as the Chicago Bears and even the Dallas Cowboys. Of those three, the Patriots seem to be the likeliest option for Foster. They're in need of a good, reliable running back. Plus, he would be playing for a Super Bowl until Tom Brady retires.

The Patriots would be an ideal situation for Foster.

Cousins Feels 'Believed In' in Washington

We noted last week that the Washington Redskins want to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins around for the long term, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Cousins and his Redskins were eliminated by the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs on Sunday, and as Cousins begins his life as a free agent, he knows where he'd like to be, per Jamie Oakes of 247Sports.com:

I think to this point we haven’t really discussed the specifics of that, but I do feel believed in here. I feel like this organization, they put their necks on the line for me at the start of the season, so that says a lot right there. Like I said, I think this is an organization that is trending up, is doing good things, has good pieces in place, has good leadership at the top. Those are all positive signs, so we’ll go from there and see where things play out, but you certainly want to be in the right place with the right people around you, and I do believe that Washington has a lot of those pieces in place.

There is clear mutual interest between Cousins and the Redskins that may make it easier for owner Dan Snyder to get this deal done quickly. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that the Redskins want to get this done as soon as possible, before the franchise tag deadline preferably.

If Cousins wants to stay with Washington, and the Redskins want him as well, then it makes sense to believe that Cousins will re-sign for a much larger contract. That is the best guess on what will happen.

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