A Minnesota Native Is Evidently Available for Trade

Minnesota Fans Are
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A miniature saga spanning about four consecutive offseasons, Kirk Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers has “been a thing,” a wanton desire by some.

Alas, if there’s a will, there may be a way to effectuate the plan. For the first time, the 49ers appear to be fielding trade offers for Trey Lance, which could reasonably involve Kirk Cousins, draft picks — or any player in the NFL.

A Minnesota Native Is Evidently Available for Trade

San Francisco experienced the utmost success with unknown rookie Brock Purdy last season — until the Iowa State alumnus encountered a horrid injury in the 2022 NFC Championship. His timetable to return is up in the air with eight days to go before the 2023 NFL Draft, but that isn’t stopping 49ers leadership twosome, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, from listening to nibbles of Lance trade submissions.

A Minnesota Native Is
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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday morning, “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.”

Earlier this week, CBS Sports reported about the extent of Brock Purdy’s injury, “For the 49ers, the worst-case scenario would be that Purdy is forced to miss the entire 2023 season and although that seems unlikely at this point, the 23-year-old did admit that it was at least a possibility.”

Vikings Could Enter the Trey Lance Sweepstakes
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Ergo, a lot is going on for the 49ers at quarterback, especially if Purdy is on the shelf for all of 2023. Trading Lance, when Purdy isn’t available, would leave San Francisco with a possibly injured Purdy, Lance playing elsewhere, and Sam Darnold apparently on deck to start, sans a fancy quarterback from the hypothetical Lance deal.

Predictably, for some Vikings fans and media, this is where Kirk Cousins would enter the chat, the proposed solution for the 49ers QB injury woes. Cousins is one of the NFL’s most durable passers, if not the least injured. He’s never missed a game to injury, minus a coronavirus absence down the stretch of the 2021 season. That outlook is music to San Francisco’s gold-mining ears.

49ers head coach Kyle 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.”

Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon
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“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 two years ago.

Last month, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms discussed the potential of a Lance trade this offseason. Florio mentioned, “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.”

It’s an undying topic, with the Lance-for-sale fodder assured to make Cousins-to-49ers even more enticing.

Of course, if the 49ers “wait it out,” they can simply sign Cousins as a free agent in less than 11 months — trade capital be damned. Cousins’ final year in Minnesota is slated for 2023.

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.