It’s Kirk Cousins + 49ers Chatter — for the 4th Straight Offseason

Image Courtesy of @locktominny on Twitter.

A tale almost as old as time, welcome back to the Kirk Cousins + San Francisco 49ers trade rumors.

We’ve missed you. How was your year?

For four consecutive offseasons — right around this time — somebody bangs the drum for Cousins-49ers trade rumors because of the undying connection between Cousins and his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is, of course, the head coach of the 49ers.

It’s Kirk Cousins + 49ers Chatter — for the 4th Straight Offseason

It’s up to you to decide if the oft-mentioned trades will ever materialize. In the meantime, enjoy the explanation of the odyssey.


4th Straight Offseason
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Fresh off a Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — a game they probably should have won — the 49ers were a “quarterback away” from glory. QB1 Jimmy Garoppolo missed a crucial 4th Quarter throw in the Super Bowl, and the Chiefs won the ship. San Francisco did not.

This was the same offseason where Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs pushed his way out of Minneapolis, and Cousins was ultimately extended after a road playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.

On March 9th, 2020, before Cousins signed the aforementioned extension,’s Albert Breer wrote, “I do know there’s been perception in league circles that Jimmy Garoppolo is on the clock, because Kirk Cousins is a free agent in 2021.”

“It’ll certainly be interesting to see where the Vikings’ future with Kirk Cousins goes. If I were Cousins, and I knew that the Niners could be an option next year, I’m not sure I’d sign anything right now,” Breer added.

This cycle of Cousins-49ers rumors was abbreviated because Minnesota wrapped up Cousins soon after, but it was present nonetheless.


Kirk Cousins Becomes
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Fast forward a year, and the Vikings encountered a flimsy 7-9 season, which emphatically supersized the Cousins-49ers rumors. In fact, the 2021 offseason may have been the loudest for these undying whispers.

On February 1st, 2021,’s Evan Massey tweeted, “49ers still looking to make a move at QB. Kirk Cousins, I’m told, is a name to keep an eye on. If Vikings are open to dealing, San Francisco will push hard to acquire him. Ties with Shanahan make this an intriguing potential fit.”

Here’s the tweet in the flesh:

On the same day — when Cousins + 49ers fodder was white-hot — Ross Tucker tweeted, “Sounds like it will be Cousins in San Francisco but either way I still think Jimmy G starts the opener for the Pats.”

The receipt:

Neither of Tucker’s predictions came true. They were false.

The 49ers drafted Trey Lance three months later after trading a king’s ransom to the Miami Dolphins, and no Cousins trade occurred. Garoppolo did not venture to the Patriots.


A New Trade Partner for Kirk
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Cousins-49ers smoke wasn’t too billowy last offseason, mainly because San Francisco was jazzed about Trey Lance, and the Vikings were pairing Cousins with his former quarterback coach Kevin O’Connell. But tidbits were present. The usual suspects did their thing:


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally — the here and now.

The 49ers once again have a quarterback problem — perhaps a good one — as Brock Purdy shined until an injury in the NFC Championship. Lance was lost of the season a few months ago. Garoppolo broke his leg. Josh Johnson was concussed against the Eagles on Sunday.

San Francisco will evaluate the quarterback position, likely a decision between Purdy and Lance.

But SKOR North was eager to prime the Cousins-49ers speculation the day after the NFC Championship.

VikingsTerritory’s AJ Mansour discussed the theory, too.

One of two things will squash the annual Cousins-49ers fuel: a) a Cousins trade to the 49ers b) Cousins heads to another team or eventually retires.

We do this every year.

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).

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