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Kirk Cousins Wants To Be Back 'Under Right Set Of Circumstances'

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The quarterback is looking forward to what the Redskins will offer him as he prepares for the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Earlier this week head coach Jay Gruden and team president Bruce Allen, both in Mobile, Ala., this week watching the Senior Bowl, expressed confidence that quarterback Kirk Cousins, due to be an unrestricted free agent, would be returning to the Redskins.

Some 400 miles southeast, Cousins, who is in Orlando, Fla., participating in the Pro Bowl, spoke more diplomatically with reporters about his contract situation and the uncertainty that awaits him in the next couple of weeks.

"They've got the cards and they're holding them," Cousins said. "They're going to choose to do what they want to do, and I respect their judgment and opinion and I'll react accordingly and we'll go from there."

Cousins played on the franchise tag last year after he and the team couldn't come to an agreement on a long-term contract. After leading the team to division championship in 2015, the Redskins finished last season in third place and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Now, Cousins faces the similar scenario of waiting for a long-term offer, something Allen has said the team would like to make happen, or agreeing to play on the franchise tag for a second consecutive season.

"If I'm getting franchise tagged, that means they want me back," Cousins said. "If they want me back, I definitely want to be back. Under the right set of circumstances, it would great to be back there and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do."

Cousins once again set team records for the Redskins in his second season as the full-time starting quarterback. The Michigan State product finished the year with 4,917 yards – 15th most in NFL history -- and 25 touchdowns along with 12 interceptions. He also compiled a season passer rating of 97.2.

He finished the season with team single-season records in attempts (606), completions (404) and passing yards along with matching his own team record for 300-yard passing games with seven.

Those numbers earned him alternate status for this year's Pro Bowl, which he eventually learned he would be participating in on Monday, when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers declined to play. So far, he's been enjoying every bit of it.

"This is a dream come true," Cousins said. "I'm thrilled to be here and having a lot of fun. Love meeting all the guys and getting to know them and having some of these starts as teammates is a lot of fun. So I am having a great week, it's a great experience, and now I want to get back here every year."

The week has also been a family affair for Cousins, who has been able to catch up with his brother and father, who pastors a church in the Orlando area.

"It's been fun for us as a family to all be down here together," Cousins said. "It is a little easier to get to than Hawaii. We are having a great time spending time together which we don't always get to do and living it up."

Cousins has also been enjoying spending time with his peers on the practice field, picking the brain of quarterback Drew Brees, for example, and throwing passes to NFC East rivals in wide receivers Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant.

While that may be a strange sight for some Redskins fans, it reminds Cousins of everyone's college roots before the NFL Draft, and the heights to which many players have taken their games. 

"You know we are all guys here. We all came out from college and were told where to go in the draft then we go our separate ways," Cousins said. "We are all going through the same experiences and there is some serious talent out there. So it's been a lot of fun to work with them and learn from them."

*Bryan Van Balen also contributed to this article *

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