James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports



The San Francisco 49ers will be keeping an eye on Monday's deadline for the Washington Redskins to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal.


A Monday deadline looms for the Washington Redskins, quarterback Kirk Cousins, and potentially, the San Francisco 49ers. Washington has until 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, July 17th to sign its starting quarterback to a multi-year deal. If it does not accomplish that, Cousins will play out the 2017 season under his $23.94 million exclusive franchise tag deal.

A recent report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network stated that both sides are fine with Cousins playing on a one-year deal in 2017.


Washington will get another crack at signing Cousins to a long-term deal at the conclusion of the 2017 NFL season. If it cannot, the quarterback will hit free agency as a restricted or unrestricted free agent. That will open the door for a team like the 49ers to swoop in and sign the Kyle Shanahan-favorite.

Should Cousins hit the open market, there is a good chance that the 49ers heavily pursue him. It is also likely that Cousins wants to join Shahanan in San Francisco. ESPN's Redskins reporter John Keim joined KNBR on Wednesday and stated that a long-term deal does not look likely and that Cousins could be focused primarily on the 49ers as a potential destination.

"I think he'd be very comfortable [with the 49ers] because of Kyle Shanahan," Keim said. "Let's say he's determined to leave the Redskins – I don't see why he'd go anywhere else than San Francisco."

Shanahan and Cousins greatly respect each other. Cousins respects Shanahan's work ethic and system.

"He's just an offensive genius," Cousins said in February leading up to Super Bowl LI. "He understands X's and O's very well. He watches film. He doesn't just read press clippings or make decisions based on hype. He watches the tape."

Upon drafting quarterback C.J. Beathard in April, Shanahan was quick to compare his new quarterback to Cousins.

"He processes the game so well," Shanahan said in the 49ers draft war room. "Tough as s---. Got a chance. He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins."

Cousins had the best statistical 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.

Meanwhile, the 49ers will enter the 2017 season with Brian Hoyer penciled in as the starting quarterback. All four quarterbacks on the current roster are new faces to the team. Other than Hoyer and Beathard, the 49ers also signed Matt Barkley and rookie Nick Mullens during the offseason.

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