Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins was a topic of discussion during this year’s NFL scouting combine. Cousins just completed his fifth year with Minnesota, leading the Vikings to an NFC North division title and the No. 3 seed in the conference. Unfortunately, all that got them was a Wild Card exit at the hands of the New York Giants. So, of course, this prompts fans and media to further wonder if Cousins is the guy to get these Vikings over the hump. Apparently, the front office in Minnesota is also questioning Cousins moving forward. As per Mike Florio, there was talk about a potential Vikings-49ers trade centered around Cousins.
“Apparently, at the scouting combine, there was some chatter, there was some noise, among people within the broader league structure, not the media, but people in the league about Cousins being traded to the 49ers,” Florio said. “That was a hot topic at one point in Indianapolis.”
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San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was on his father Mike’s staff when Washington drafted Cousins in 2012. So, a built-in relationship between Cousins and Shanahan could benefit the Niners were this to happen. Looking at this closely, Cousins isn’t an automatic bet to get San Francisco any closer to their ultimate goal of lifting a sixth Lombardi trophy.
The gap between Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t that great. Jimmy G has moved on, but the two are comparable. Garoppolo was criticized during his 49ers tenure for some of his errant passes and not driving the ball downfield enough. Cousins isn’t exactly a mistake-free QB and has that cloud of big game failure hanging over his head. He’ll post big numbers, but rarely in the biggest moments/games.
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What would it mean for the rest of San Fran’s QB room?
If you’re the Niners, is this a chance for you to move on from Trey Lance? They could give up other assets, but there’s also the reality of Cousins being due a new contract after next season. Cousins turns 35 in August, so the Niners must consider giving up young players or draft capital for a QB who could walk freely after one year. This trade makes little sense for SF and doesn’t sound like anything they should seriously consider. San Francisco is ready and built to win at nearly every position except QB. Lance and Brock Purdy are both young with minimal experience. But Cousins doesn’t feel like the guy to fix all the Niners’ woes despite his relationship with Shanahan. The 49ers would be wise to pass on getting into the Kirk Cousins market.
Cousins is good, but he’s not a life-changing addition. Not even for a team that’s ready to win now. Acquiring him doesn’t guarantee the Niners anything other than having to pay him at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
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