Kirk Cousins Allegedly Another Team’s Missing Piece

Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings may not be able to win a Super Bowl with quarterback Kirk Cousins, but the San Francisco 49ers sure can, according to one opinionated personality.

He’s Adam Schein, the host of Mad Dog Radio on Sirius and a columnist on

Kirk Cousins Allegedly Another Team’s Missing Piece

Schein believes Cousins’ skillset is underrated and can be better utilized in The Bay than in the Twin Cities. He explained on Thursday, “If I’m Kyle Shanahan, I would dangle Trey Lance and try and trade for Kirk Cousins. Say what you want about Kirk Cousins, but Kirk Cousins is quarterback 8 through 16 in the NFL. And remember, when Kirk Cousins was drafted by Washington, he was drafted by the Shanahans, Kyle and Mike, who absolutely love him.”

Image Courtesy of Adam Schein on Twitter. Adam Schein of Mad Dog Radio on Sirius. He also writes for

“So if I’m the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers, I’m working out a deal where Kirk Cousins goes to San Francisco, Trey Lance ends up going to Minnesota, and I think if San Francisco makes that kind of trade, we are talking about the San Francisco 49ers, unequivocally, being the best team and the team to beat in the NFL this season,” Schein concluded.

If you’re new to the Cousins-49ers saga, it’s been a thing for about four straight offseasons. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has always spouted his love for Cousins, and Vikings fans hellbent on divorce from Cousins have sourced Shanahan as a possible trade partner.

Cousins Allegedly another
Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Shanahan said in 2021 about Cousins, his former coworker, “To say that my prototypical guy is someone like Kirk Cousins. I mean, that’s just, everyone knows my history with Kirk. We drafted him in the 4th round in Washington.”

“I got to coach him for three games. And then, we were fired, I left, I thought we’d have a chance to get him [in San Francisco] in free agency, and I would have loved to have him in free agency until Jimmy came along the year before. Because I thought we could have won with him, just like Minnesota has,” Shanahan added.

Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan stands on the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports.

The possibility or realism on Lance, however, is new. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday, “Sources: The 49ers have received inquiries from several teams looking into a potential trade for former No. 3 pick QB Trey Lance. The conversations have been the result of SF fielding the calls, not making them, with teams aware that Brock Purdy is likely the future starter.”

A day later, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio piggybacked. “Per a league source, the two teams [Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers] talked about Trey Lance. The source doesn’t know whether that’s currently happening. The Vikings have since restructured the Cousins contract. They’d take a significant cap hit ($38 million) if the Vikings traded Cousins before June 1. But the Vikings need an answer for 2024, and beyond. It’s unclear whether they truly think Lance could be the answer.”

Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) rushes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

If a Cousins-for-Lance trade shakes down before the start of the 2023 regular season, the deal would’ve likely have to be made after June 1st. The Vikings would lose money against the salary cap if they shipped Cousins elsewhere before June 1st. After that date is a different story, but a draft trade with Cousins would be financial silliness.

These are the numbers:

  • Cap Savings, Trading Cousins before 6/1 = –$18.5M
  • Cap Savings, Trading Cousins after 6/1 = $10M

Moreover, if Cousins were traded before June 1st, the Vikings salary cap would look like this — before even signing the 2023 draft class, which will cost between $5 and $10 million:

  • Vikings Cap Space, Trading Cousins before 6/1 = -$17.2M
  • Vikings Cap Space, Trading Cousins after 6/1 = $11.2M

NFL trades cannot be designated with a “post-June-1st” condition like player releases. The hypothetical Cousins trade would have to occur this summer unless mayhem ensues.

Finally, Lance hasn’t played a full season of football since 2019. His trade price right now is relatively low, but whichever team lands his services is still obtaining a big ‘maybe’ at QB1.

We shall see if that’s the Vikings. Probably not — but Schein is all in.

If no Cousins-to-49ers trade happens in 2023, he can walk to San Francisco via free agency next March without any trade capital attached. There’s also wild irony that the man cannot win a Super Bowl in Minnesota, but folks believe it would be seamless on a different team.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by