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Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook scores on a 1-yard touchdown run ahead of Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Zach Brown, left, during the second half Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Zach Brown called Kirk Cousins the “weakest part” of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense. Brown is no longer a part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.

The Eagles announced Monday that they were releasing Brown, a day after he declined to discuss his ill-fated trash talk in the wake of a 38-20 loss at Minnesota. Cousins made a strong contribution to his team’s win, strafing Philly to the tune of 333 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.

“Cousins, I think every defense is going to want that guy to throw the ball,” Brown said then, according to ESPN. “For me, that’s probably the weakest part of their offense is him. Everything else is good. They’ve got a good running game, probably one of the best in the league. They have real good receivers.

“You just want them to pass the ball. You want Kirk Cousins to get it in his hands.”

Brown claimed Friday that he had insight into the quarterback’s tendencies from the 2017 season, when they were teammates with the Washington Redskins.

“I realized when I was in Washington, he was kind of careless with the ball. But at the same time, hey, you make the bed you sleep in,” Brown said.

Cousins had career highs with 13 fumbles and 13 interceptions in 2017, and his seven fumbles are the most in the league. However, the eighth-year quarterback has just three picks in six games, and his one interception Sunday was much more the fault of wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who let an accurate pass bounce off his hands.

Diggs also racked up 167 receiving yards and three touchdowns, repeatedly hooking up with Cousins for long gains. Afterward, Brown said he was only interested in answering questions “about the game” and not about his pregame comments.

Pressed on the topic, the veteran linebacker replied, “Any other questions, besides about Kirk Cousins?”

Cousins said after the game that he was unaware of what Brown had said.

“I really do stay ignorant, not read anything, and that’s for my best interest,” Cousins said, according to CBS Sports. “Zach was a teammate in Washington. He’s one of the better linebackers I’ve played with or against. I have a lot of respect for him, and if you’re trying to write a story about how it was a motivator this week, it wasn’t, because I didn’t know about it.”

The Eagles did not specify whether Brown’s comments were the cause of, or played any role in, his release. A spokesman for the team did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

On-field issues could have prompted Philadelphia’s decision to drop Brown, who notched 29 tackles in six games, with two tackles for a loss and two passes defended but no sacks or quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Reference. He was ranked 60th out of 88 linebackers by the game charters at Pro Football Focus, according to Bleeding Green Nation.

Brown was rated third among all linebackers by PFF last year, when he played for the Redskins, and he was a 2016 Pro Bowler for the Buffalo Bills. ESPN reported Monday that “multiple teams” are “expected to be interested” in Brown.


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