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NFL source suggests intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was erroneous

The NFL apparently believes a key intentional grounding call made against Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins during Sunday’s deflating loss at New Orleans was erroneous.

A league source pointed out Monday morning the intentional grounding rule includes a requirement that the passer be facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, a strong suggestion the NFL believes that was not the case with Cousins and the penalty should not have been called.

Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said in a conference call with reporters later Monday morning that teams regularly express displeasure with a particular call or calls and those conversations with the league’s officiating department are private.

Lockhart cited the provision of the rule that a quarterback be facing an imminent threat of being sacked, and said: That is a judgment call. In the judgment of the referee here, it was. And he threw the flag.

Peterson, who turns 32 later in March, has spent his entire 10-year career with the Vikings and has an $18 million option for 2017, including a $6 million roster bonus due March 11. He will become an unrestricted free agent March 9.

It’s been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings, Peterson said in a statement relayed by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with Rick Spielman this past weekend.

Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, is 16th all-time in rushing yards with 11,747 but has been limited to fewer than 40 carries in two of the last three seasons because of a torn meniscus and a suspension stemming from a child-abuse charge in 2014.

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