Kirk Cousins Linked to Familiar Destination (It’s Not MIN)

Kirk Cousins
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

Stop if you’ve heard this before: Kirk Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers.

Kirk Cousins Linked to Familiar Destination (It’s Not MIN)

Like clockwork, for about 6-7 consecutive offseasons, the 49ers have been at-least-sideways linked to Cousins via outright free-agent signing or trade.

to Familiar Destination
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

This time, it’s free agency. Cousins could be on the brink of testing the open market for the first time since 2018, and if that materializes, one outfit believes the 49ers could pounce. SI.com’s Conor Orr authored bold predictions for every NFL team this week, and for San Francisco, that was signing Cousins. A recurring story.

Orr wrote, “The 49ers will sign Kirk Cousins to a two-year deal. Kyle Shanahan was really smart these past two weeks in making one talking point clear: He felt that signing Tom Brady and stashing Brock Purdy to the side was a benefit to Purdy and an investment. Could he be able to make the same claim about Cousins who, while less successful, does carry a certain amount of gravitas?”

Purple Rumor Mill: Cousins-Niners Fodder, Johnathan Abram, the Big Goon
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Of course, Minnesota could squash any Cousins-themed next-team talk by re-signing the passer in the next four weeks. But as of February 14th, Cousins’ future could go either way. The Vikings might oblige his expensive asking price, or he could walk to free agency. Stay tuned.

Orr added, “Shanahan wants fast processors who don’t miss throws. His affinity for Cousins is known. If the 49ers plan on running it back, it makes sense to bolster the QB room.”

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports.

If San Francisco signed on for the Cousins experience, it would presumably cut ties with Brock Purdy, who led the 49ers to overtime of the Super Bowl last weekend. Otherwise, in theory, it could bench Purdy for Cousins, but that might cause some locker-room disharmony.

No matter what, though, parting ways with Purdy as QB1 seems terribly unlikely as the 49ers’ strategy. While Purdy didn’t perform to Patrick Mahomes’ level on Sunday — nobody really does — he’s still a second-year quarterback who needs development and time, like thousands of others from the past.

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.”

“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.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

Don’t get it twisted: Shanahan adores Cousins. He just didn’t know anything about Brock Purdy when he furnished the 2021 quote(s) about Cousins.

If the Vikings let Cousins depart in March, and the 49ers don’t make Orr’s claim come true, other teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, or New England Patriots could express interest in the 35-year-old.

Free agency is four weeks away.


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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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

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