James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports



Eric Galko of the Sporting News and Optimum Scouting is reporting that, according to a source close to Kirk Cousins, the Washington Redskins quarterback has said, "I'm going to be a 49er." The real question is when. Things aren't looking good for 2017. Since having the exclusive franchise tag placed on him by Washington, it has seemed that the Redskins have been reluctant to trade Cousins. However, reports out of Washington and by Mike Silver of NFL Media state that Cousins wants out and he wants to join head coach Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco.


Galko reports that Washington interviewed "a handful of quarterbacks" multiple times at the NFL Scouting Combine, which wrapped up on Monday. "I'd expect that, as long as one or two intrigued them enough, they'd be OK with trading Cousins," Galko wrote.

Of course, the exclusive franchise tag prevents the 49ers from even speaking to Cousins and it would seem that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is reluctant to do Shanahan any favors, still holding a grudge from when he and his father, Mike Shanahan, were in Washington.

In the meantime, the 49ers are no longer without any quarterbacks on their roster, as was the case prior to free agency. They have signed former Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer, who is close to Shanahan and started 14 games for him in Cleveland during the 2014 season. The team is also set to sign Hoyer's teammate in Chicago and former University of Southern California star Matt Barkley. You may remember Barkley from Chicago's 26-6 victory over the 49ers in a show storm last season.

The 49ers also signed one of Cousin's favorite targets in Washington – wide receiver Pierre Garçon. The team also signed speedy Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and are about to sign former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Aldrick Robinson.

RELATED 2017 49ers Free Agency Tracker

As for Cousins, he will earn $23.94 million on his new one-year deal with Washington if he plays there in 2017 – which looks increasingly likely. Of course, Cousins would like a long-term contract – one that offers a good amount of guaranteed money – but Washington and the quarterback are far apart on a deal.

Cousins would be far too expensive for Washington to retain in 2018. He is essentially tag-proof, having already been tagged twice in his career. The franchise tag for a third straight year would be far too expensive for Washington. However, they could still apply the transition tag at the cost of nearly $29 million. Washington would then, at least, have the ability to at least match any competing offer that Cousins receives from other clubs.

That means that the 49ers – if they really want him – can simply wait things out and sign him as a free agent during the 2018 offseason. If Cousins left via free agency, all Washington would see in return is potentially a 2019 third-round compensatory pick.

Cousins had the best season of his career in 2016, completing 67-percent of his passes for 4,917 yards and throwing 25 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. In 2015, Cousins threw 29 touchdowns while completing nearly 70-percent of his passes.

Cousins earned the 8th-highest overall grade among NFL quarterbacks last season from advanced statistics site Pro Football Focus.