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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Silver: ‘More likely than not’ Kirk Cousins still ends up with 49ers

Mar 7, 2017 at 11:21 AM


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Mike Silver of NFL Media believes that there is still a good chance that Washinton Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins ends up with Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers, despite the exclusive franchise tag being placed on him last week.

"When it comes to the quarterback position, I believe that Kirk Cousins wants to be in San Francisco," Silver said. "I believe Kyle Shanahan, who has been very high on Kirk Cousins since he was the offensive coordinator in Washington when they drafted Cousins, I believe that marriage wants to happen on both ends. It's an expensive marriage and we'll see in terms of trade compensation, what it would take to get him. Maybe something that happens in a year but if I had to make a guess one way or the other at this early stage, I would say that it's more likely than not that Kirk Cousins ends up being the 49ers' quarterback."

Mike Silver on 49ers' offseason: I believe Kirk Cousins wants to be in San Francisco

Last year, Washington used the non-exclusive franchise tag. This year's use of the exclusive franchise tag means the 49ers are not allowed to open discussions with Cousins himself. All negotiations must go through Washington, which appears to be far apart with their quarterback on reaching a long-term deal.

Cousins earned nearly $20 million playing under the franchise tag in 2016. This year, he will be guaranteed to earn $23.94 million on his new one-year deal. Despite the amount that they are spending on Cousins by franchising him two years in a row, Washington appears unwilling to make a long-term commitment to the quarterback at a price that he deems reasonable.

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Washington when Cousins was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. When Shanahan went to Cleveland, he was able to convince the Browns to try to trade for Cousins. Cleveland offered a fourth-round pick for the quarterback and Washington declined.

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.

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