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Grant Cohn: “I think trading for Kirk Cousins would be a mistake”

Jan 22, 2017 at 10:39 PM

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There has been some speculation that the San Francisco 49ers, once they have their head coach and general manager in place, might pursue Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins should he hit free agency. On Thursday, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee first speculated that Kyle Shanahan and the team might go after him. Of course, the 49ers need to hire the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator first. Right now, he's kind of busy planning how to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI so the 49ers will have to wait a couple of weeks to even begin discussions like that.

The idea of a pursuit of Cousins gained steam on Sunday when Ian Rapoport of NFL Network also reported that there might be some interest on the part of the 49ers.

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 also still a chance that Washington places the franchise tag on Cousins, which would likely make teams very hesitant to acquire the quarterback. Under that scenario, adding Cousins would force a team to part ways with two first round draft picks unless they were able to negotiate a trade for less. The franchise tag would likely keep Cousins with Washington for another year at the cost of about $24 million.

Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat joined 95.7 The Game to discuss, among other things, the idea of pursuing Cousins, which he felt would be a mistake for the 49ers.

"First of all, I think trading for Kirk Cousins would be a mistake," Cohn said. "That would be trading away a lot of picks for one quarterback. This team isn't a quarterback away. I think that just sets back this roster. There are so many holes in this roster. It just sets back the rest of the franchise for years. So I think Kirk Cousins would be a big mistake.

"Also, I think it would be a big mistake to reach for any of these quarterbacks at (the) number two (pick) because there's no Matt Ryan in this draft, as much as the Niners wish there were. Mitch Trubisky played one year in college. Deshaun Watson basically just throws jump balls up to Mike [Williams], who's a lot better than Deshaun Watson.

"Again, I would do what the Raiders did. Look what (general manager) Reggie McKenzie did. He took over that team and he didn't spend a high draft pick on a quarterback until year three. He spent two years building up the roster. I like that strategy. Same with the Seahawks. They spent two years building up that roster before they drafted Russell Wilson. There's no rush. This is a long project. Build up the roster and then get the quarterback next year or even the year after if you want to do it right. If you want to blow it, then go after Kirk Cousins or Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky or whomever."

You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.
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