Kirk Cousins + 49ers Rumors Now Have a Tweaked Tone

Kirk Cousins to 49ers Gossip Is Back
Image Courtesy of @locktominny on Twitter.

You can take all those juicy and undying Kirk Cousins + San Francisco 49ers rumors and slap a boldfaced 2024 sticker on them.

That’s the latest reworked theory from Pro Football Talk, anyway. PFT’s Mike Florio intimated last week that Cousins trade conversations were popular at the NFL Combine, and after Florio’s revelation, most of the world seemed to take the commentary as a hint that trade talks are still alive and well.

Kirk Cousins + 49ers Rumors Now Have a Tweaked Tone

Florio said last week, “Apparently, at the scouting combine, there was some chatter, there was some noise among people within the broader league structure — not media but people in the league — about Cousins being traded to the 49ers. That was a hot topic at one point in Indianapolis.”

49ers Rumors Now
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Well, he clarified the remarks on Thursday, first clearing the air on his original statement, “I’ve yet to write it here. Given that it’s being attributed to me pretty much everywhere else because I said it somewhere (maybe on PFT Live, maybe elsewhere), I might as well type it up and hit publish.”

The more likely outcome would be the 49ers finally pursuing Cousins when he becomes a free agent in March 2024. That will depend on whether Purdy or Lance become the entrenched starter over the course of the next 11 months. And whether the Vikings finally decide to move on from a guy who has been good enough, but not quite great,” Florio opined about the futuristic Cousins-to-San-Francisco sweepstakes.

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports.

And this theory makes markedly more sense than Minnesota trading Cousins to the 49ers now. Why would the 49ers trade one or two high-round draft picks for Cousins when he’ll be available to the highest bidder in 11 months? Plus, San Francisco already employs Trey Lance, Brock Purdy, and Sam Darnold. It traded the farm for Lance two years ago and probably owes it to itself to see how the Minnesota native performs in Year Three.

49ers head coach 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.”

NFL: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

“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.

The man loves Cousins and will have a reasonable shot at landing his services during 2024 free agency. Of course, that assumes Lance, Purdy, and Darnold don’t pan out, which isn’t a foregone conclusion.

The Vikings have the 23rd pick in Round 1 at the end of the month, a netherworlds area for drafting a Cousins successor. The Vikings don’t have much draft capital (five picks), and this year’s “Big 4” quarterbacks are scheduled to fly off the board before pick No. 23.

Moreover, it would be odd to trade Cousins now unless general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is enamored with Lamar Jackson from the Baltimore Ravens or the oft-injured Lance — or plans to draft Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) or Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA) as a 2023 starter.

Like every offseason, Cousins to San Francisco will become a talker next offseason, but it may actually come true this time.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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