Kirk Cousins Trade Rumors Are Swirling On Monday

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The Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions got the quarterback market churning this past weekend, swapping Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford.

But today it looks like the attention is turning to Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. According to Evan Massey of NFL Analysis Network, the San Francisco 49ers are “looking to make a move” at the quarterback position.

Massey noted that if the Vikings are open to dealing him, the 49ers will “push hard” to get him. He pointed out that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has a history with Cousins. The two worked together in Washington for several years before Shanahan went to the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

Cousins has a career-high 35 touchdowns for the Vikings in 2020. But he only went 7-9 as a starter as Minnesota missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

#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. — Evan Massey (@massey_evan) February 1, 2021

The 49ers, meanwhile, appear to on the outs with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco went 6-10 in 2020 after making the Super Bowl the year before.

Reports emerged that they were interested in acquiring Matthew Stafford before he was traded to the Rams this past weekend. They’ve also been one of the many teams linked to Houston Texans superstar Deshaun Watson.

Whether the 49ers end up acquiring Kirk Cousins (and the rest of his guaranteed contract) or not, it seems clear that they want new blood under center.

Will any team make a trade for Kirk Cousins this offseason?

Kirk Cousins trade rumors involving 49ers swirling again

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Minnesota Vikings

What would the Vikings do if the 49ers called about a trade for quarterback Kirk Cousins and the $76 million he’s owed over the next two seasons?

It’s a question that might be reality. According to sports reporter Evan Massey, the 49ers want to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and Massey says he’s told that Kirk Cousins “is a name to keep an eye on, adding that if the Vikings are open to dealing Cousins, “San Francisco will push hard to acquire him.”

For starters, it’s not like Massey is Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport, but who’s to say his report isn’t legit? What’s more is that reporters with much more name recognition than Massey have linked Cousins to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan before.

In March 2020, ESPN’s Diana Russini said she’s “never seen somebody want a quarterback as bad” as Shanahan wanted Cousins, whom he helped develop for two years when they were both with Washington.

Shanahan admitted to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer in December 2018 – after the 49ers had traded for Garoppolo – that he and GM John Lynch were still interested in getting Cousins, who was a few months from signing with Minnesota.

“But here’s what you may not know—even after San Francisco dealt a second-round pick to the Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo on Oct. 30, Shanahan and GM John Lynch had yet to shut the door on the idea of pursuing Cousins. Garoppolo had much to prove over the two months to follow, and the man Shanahan developed in D.C. in 2012 and ’13 lurked as an option if Tom Brady’s backup fell on his face.”

Furthermore, Lynch told an ESPN radio station in March 2018 – just after Cousins signed his $84 million deal with the Vikings – that Shanahan was down in the dumps that he didn’t get Cousins.

“We made the trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was, like, in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually. I was proud of Kyle, because I think he knew this was the right thing for our franchise. And he didn’t hesitate. But then, even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself.”

Cousins is now 33 years old and due for a $31 million cap hit on the Vikings in 2021, with a $45 million paycheck waiting for him in 2022. According to The Athletic, if Cousins is traded his cap hit for a new team would be $21 million in 2021 and $35 million in 2022.

The price for the Rams to get Matthew Stafford from the Lions was first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, a third-round pick in 2021 and starting quarterback Jared Goff, who is owed more than $100 million over the next four years.

That’s all there is for now, so it looks like Vikings fans are again in wait-and-see mode.

Super Bowl Contender ‘Pushing Hard’ to Trade for Vikings’ Kirk Cousins: Report

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After the Los Angeles Rams traded a ransom of picks for Detroit Lions veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, few quarterbacks in the league are truly safe.

Jared Goff, who’s gone to two Pro Bowls in the first five years of his career, was traded along with two future first-round picks and a third-rounder. Stafford’s arrival to the ultra-competitive NFC West has upped the ante of what it will take to make the postseason.

The San Francisco 49ers, who are a year removed from their Super Bowl 54 appearance against the Kansas City Chiefs, have the pieces to win now despite a punted 2020 season due to injuries abound. However, quarterback play remains an issue for San Francisco in a division that had three teams vying for a playoff spot in Week 17.

NFL insider Evan Massey reported Monday that the 49ers are looking to make a move at quarterback. At the top of their list is Minnesota Vikings veteran Kirk Cousins.

“#49ers still looking to make a move at QB. Kirk Cousins, I’m told, is a name to keep an eye on,” Massey said. “If #Vikings are open to dealing, San Francisco will push hard to acquire him. Ties with [coach Kyle Shanahan] make this an intriguing potential fit.”

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49ers Chased Cousins in the Past

Considering Cousins’ far-from-flattering national reputation as a quarterback with one playoff win in nine seasons, San Francisco fans seem bearish on the team acquiring Cousins.

The fan base has a vendetta against the Vikings signal-caller already after learning that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s love for Cousins potentially blinded his judgment in the past.

Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington with Cousins in 2012 and 2013, admitted he didn’t evaluate the 2017 quarterback draft class with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson as thoroughly as he should, given he knew Cousins would be available the next season.

“I felt very confident that [Cousins] wasn’t going to stay [in Washington],” Shanahan said last month. When you go into a season knowing that a franchise quarterback is going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at.”

That decision doesn’t change how Shanahan feels now, especially after Cousins — playing in the outside-zone running scheme that Shanahan’s father and Gary Kubiak innovated — has thrived, putting up career-best numbers the past two years after Minnesota outbid the 49ers for the veteran QB in 2018.

What a Trade May Look Like

Last month, Mike Florio speculated that the Vikings may not ask for a ton of value in exchange for Cousins — given parting way with his contract would be the biggest gain. However, Stafford setting the bar for trade value could influence negotiations.

Jimmy Garopollo’s contract carries only a $2.8 million cap hit, meaning the 49ers could take on Cousins’ contract with ease. In return, Minnesota could likely get San Francisco’s second-round pick (No. 43 overall) in a simple one-to-one trade.

But if the Vikings threw in some mid-round picks, which general manager Rick Spielman has a bevy of, Minnesota could make a case for the 49ers’ No. 12 overall pick.

Dependent on the way quarterback free agency pans out, Minnesota could feel comfortable taking a quarterback with either the No. 12 or No. 14 overall pick. The two picks could also be used to trade up and get a prized top-four QB.


Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.