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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Kirk Cousins praises John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan

Feb 2, 2017 at 12:31 PM


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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins joined "Gary and Larry" on KNBR from Houston on Thursday. Cousins' name has been linked to the San Francisco 49ers, who are entering the 2017 offseason with a new general manager in former NFL safety John Lynch and soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan, who is currently the offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons.

There is no doubt that Cousins will garner a lot of interest from quarterback-needy NFL teams should he actually hit free agency. Of course, it is expected that Washington will place the franchise tag on Cousins, guaranteeing the quarterback about $24 million in 2017. Should that occur, any interested team would need to not only top that salary, but surrender two first-round draft picks to acquire Cousins. That cost might be too much for interested teams and he would likely play the 2017 season in Washington if that scenario played out. Of course, Washington would still have the option to negotiate a different deal with an interested team, perhaps one that asks for less in compensation.

Cousins was asked about being linked to the 49ers. "I'll tell you, it's good to be wanted," Cousins said. "So hopefully down the road, there will be people wanting me. But we'll see how it all plays out. The unique thing about the franchise tag is if the Redskins choose to place that on me, then I'm pretty much off the market."

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Cousins was asked what he thought of the hiring of Lynch, who has no front office experience, as the 49ers' new general manager. "You know, John's a smart guy," Cousins answered. "He's been around this league a long time. He knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl. He's done it. Been in a couple of really good organizations.

"There may be a learning curve because he hasn't been in that role before and it will take some time. I think, down the road, they may have as sharp a guy and as experienced a guy as you can find and a class act at that. I think it was a good hire and credit the 49ers for going outside the box and doing something different and not just getting stuck in a rut of the same old thing."

Cousins also discussed Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator for Washington when he was drafted. "I've always been a big fan of Kyle's," Cousins said. "I've always spoken very highly of him since the day I was picked and he called me right after the draft and just preached belief in me and encouragement, has coached me hard in all my years playing for him. I loved his system right away and saw it successfully run with Robert Griffin. I've seen it now successfully run with Matt Ryan and I just believe Kyle adapts his scheme to the players he has. He's just an offensive genius. 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.

RELATED John Lynch on KNBR: 'We're going to work our tail off'

"His decisions over time have proven to be right so I'm a big fan of his. Always will be. Even when he's on other teams, I've always rooted for him and wanted to see him succeed."

Cousins went on to say that he feels getting tagged by Washington sends a strong message that he is wanted by the team. "But if they don't tag me, that also sends a strong message and at that point, I would feel like maybe I've got to look elsewhere," Cousins said.

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.



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