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Barrows: 49ers, Shanahan could go after Kirk Cousins

Jan 19, 2017 at 4:09 PM


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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to become a free agent. His former offensive coordinator and now head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay, went on WTEM this week and called Cousins "a guy you can absolutely win a championship with."

Of course, the demand for Cousins will depend on what Washington decides to do with the quarterback and you can bet a number of teams in need of a new signal-caller, including the San Francisco 49ers, will be keeping an eye on the situation.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee joined KNBR on Wednesday and believes that the 49ers, with the reported hiring of Atlanta Falcons offense coordinator Kyle Shanahan to be their new head coach, could be interested in Cousins. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for Washington when the team drafted Cousins in 2012. Although, Cousins only started four games for Washington while Shanahan was there.

This year's crop of quarterbacks in the NFL Draft is not rated very high, which will likely work in favor of Cousins and other potential NFL quarterbacks available in free agency or via a trade.

There is still a chance that Washington places the franchise tag on Cousins, which would likely force teams to abandon any attempt to acquire the quarterback. That would keep Cousins with Washington for another year at the cost of about $24 million.

Will the 49ers go after Cousins? "If he becomes available on the free agent market, I think they do," Barrows said on KNBR. "They've got the salary cap space to go after him and they've got the need. Those two things line up as does the fact that Shanahan was the offensive coordinator when Washington drafted Cousins.

"The question becomes, 'What happens if Washington franchises Kirk Cousins?' I don't think that the 49ers, given all of the various position groups that need to be filled, would be keen on giving up even one draft pick or high round draft pick for Kirk Cousins, much less two. I think it's only if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, would they throw their name into the hat for Kirk Cousins."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

In 2016, Cousins had the best season of his career, 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.
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