By Chris Lingebach

Radio host Dan Patrick has a curious theory about Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, that the quarterback is not well liked by his wide receivers and they are talking behind his back “big time with members of the media.”

On The Dan Patrick Show Monday, the host piggybacked off comments by NFL Network hosts Steve Smith and Marshall Faulk, both of whom pointed to Cousins’ lack of leadership after Washington’s 38-14 loss to Dallas last Thursday.

UPDATE: Patrick Clarifies Cousins Rumor, Goes After ‘Greg’ Paulsen

Cousins Responds to NFL Network Hosts

UPDATE: Paulsen Fires Back at Dan Patrick

Via Patrick’s radio show on Monday afternoon:

Dan Patrick: You know, I did a little research about the whole Kirk Cousins situation and what Marshall Faulk and Steve Smith, Sr. were saying about Kirk Cousins. Kirk Cousins is not well liked by his wide receivers. Not at all. So the behind the scenes intel is they’re not big Kirk Cousins fans. I don’t know what that means for Kirk Cousins staying in Washington, but I get the feeling now with the season over that Kirk Cousins is probably surveying the landscape, saying, ‘You know, Jacksonville might be a good place for me to go.’

Producer: How do you think he feels about his wide receivers dropping all his passes?

[…]

Patrick: I think that they’re talking behind Kirk Cousins’ back big time with members of the media.

The notion that any Redskins receiver would choose now to attack Cousins in the media, with four regular season games remaining, seems oddly timed. What’s even more confounding about Patrick’s comments is the flippant manner in which he made them. No disrespect, but it came off like a lazily strung together set of words, which sounded a lot more like rumor and innuendo than hard reporting.

“I did a little research about the whole Kirk Cousins situation,” for instance, sounds a lot different than, “I spoke to several sources.” But are listeners of the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show able to distinguish the difference? The difference between ‘report’ and ‘rumor’?

Regardless, Patrick’s sources remain unnamed, an all-too-familiar pattern involving the Redskins at the end of disappointing seasons, which almost lends veracity to this bit of, um, reporting.

As with many Redskins ‘leaks’ this time of year, Patrick’s words carry another familiar quality: the mystique of not being able to pin down who would be most motivated to leak the information.

Was it a receiver? A ‘high-ranking Redskins official’? Cousins himself?

Who would be properly motivated to smear Cousins’ name as a 5-7 season winds down, heading into a free agency period in which the Redskins must again determine their future with Cousins?

“Kirk Cousins is not well liked by his wide receivers. Not at all.”

That seems strongly worded enough to have a specific intent: This guy’s not who everyone thinks he is.

“I think that they’re talking behind Kirk Cousins’ back big time with members of the media” is the icing on the cake, leaving just enough room for doubt about the source to be able to pin it on any one person and/or player. Patrick has had several Redskins guests this calendar year, Terrelle Pryor and Josh Norman included. But that last line makes it sound as though multiple Redskins players are spouting off about Cousins.

Perhaps Patrick’s ‘research’ was nothing more than speaking privately to Faulk himself, or one of his vast other media friends. Speaking of which, Patrick’s role on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is curious for several reasons. First, because of his connection to well-connected people in and around football, people who report football news with inside access to teams around the league. Further, we can’t ignore the Redskins organization’s relationship with NBC, which carries the team’s preseason games and the Larry Michael-hosted ‘Redskins Nation’ program.

There’s a lot that stinks about this seemingly careless report. The problem, as it always is around this time of year, is determining the source of the foul smell.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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