Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan felt there was a ‘strong possibility’ 49ers would get Kirk Cousins

Sep 6, 2018 at 7:17 AM--

You know the story by now. Team needs quarterback. Team trades for quarterback. Quarterback wins five games to end the season.

The San Francisco 49ers started last season with Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback. He failed to win a game. Head coach Kyle Shanahan then decided to go with rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard. He won one game in five starts. In the middle of that stretch, something miraculous occurred. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots called and practically gifted a franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers.

Still, Shanahan was not convinced. His long-term plan in San Francisco was always to one day reunite with former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. It was up to Garoppolo to change his mind. A little over three months later, the quarterback was signing a then-NFL-record five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million to remain in San Francisco.

In March, general manager John Lynch shared what it was like for Shanahan to move on from the thought of reuniting with Cousins, whom he helped Washington draft in 2012 as the offensive coordinator there.

"We made the trade, but then there were some days that Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually," Lynch said during an interview on ESPN Radio. "I was proud of Kyle because I think he knew this was the right thing for our franchise and he didn't hesitate."

"In mourning" may have been a bit extreme in describing what Shanahan was feeling at the time. The head coach wishes Lynch had chosen his words better.

"I told him how bad of a choice of words that was," Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. "But, no I understood what he was trying to say. I have a lot of respect for Kirk, and I think he's in a very good situation and went to a very good place, and I'm very happy for him for that with what he's been through.

"I'm extremely happy with who we have here and where we're at, and the decision that we made on who to go with before that."

Cousins' name came up last year as Shanahan and Lynch started to map out the future of the franchise. Of course, so did several other options. Still, at the time, Cousins seemed like a realistic possibility for the 49ers.

"We always knew that was a strong possibility because I didn't think [Washington was] going to franchise him three years in a row like no one else did, and I thought we'd have a very good chance," Shanahan said. "So, I think that's what we knew was a very strong possibility of happening and I think we fell into another alternative option that was pretty darn good."

On Sunday, Garoppolo and Cousins will face each other for the first time. At least, they will face each other's respective defenses as neither will be on the field at the same time. However, the media will bill the matchup as "Garoppolo versus Cousins." It will be the face of the 49ers versus the quarterback who could have been in his place.

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers' Kyle Shanahan praises Frank Gore: "He's right there with the top backs of all time"

By David Bonilla
Jun 15

There is great respect between the San Francisco 49ers, Frank Gore, and the fans. On June 2, the legendary running back signed a one-day contract with the 49ers, officially retiring with the team that drafted him in 2005. Gore continues to cheer for his former squad, even doing so while playing elsewhere in the NFL. He has a strong relationship with team CEO Jed York and loves The Faithful. The fans love him back. Count 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan among the many who hold a great deal of respect for everything Gore accomplished during his 16 years in the NFL. "He's right there with the top backs of all time," Shanahan said during the 49ers' State of the Franchise event. "Everyone can go through your backs and pick your one, and I think

PFF: 49ers have strong edge-rushing depth, but D-line interior remains 'potential weak point'

By David Bonilla
Jun 14

Samson Ebukam, Drake Jackson, Charles Omenihu, Kerry Hyder, and Kemoko Turay will all compete for playing time opposite San Francisco 49ers phenom, defensive end Nick Bosa. That's a lot of depth along the edge. That depth helped the 49ers unit rank among Pro Football Focus' "Elite" defensive lines in the league. However, San Francisco comes in at No. 6, behind the Los Angeles Rams, Washington Commanders, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What's the reason for the 49ers not ranking higher on the list? It has to do with the uncertainty along the interior of the defensive line. While analyst Ben Linsey called Bosa "one of the best all-around edge defenders in the NFL," there are question marks between the bookends. "Arik Armstead is

49ers and Trey Lance: There's a storm brewing in The Bay

By Wayne Breezie
Jun 13

Second-year San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance is mentally and physically preparing for war. During organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp, we heard from Lance, his coaches, and most importantly, his teammates. The commonality in what they shared about the young quarterback was his confidence and leadership. How does a young kid who didn't see much playing time during his rookie season prepare for year two? It's simply his confidence. Confidence isn't something you develop overnight. Instead, it's something that evolves through adversity. Lance received a Division I scholarship to the University of Minnesota to play linebacker. However, he wanted to play quarterback, so he took his talents to North Dakota State, where he red-shirted his freshman season

Kyle Shanahan: 49ers' Trey Lance can handle the pressure of starting

By David Bonilla
Jun 15

Trey Lance is slated to be the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 starting quarterback after starting just two games as a rookie last season. The limited experience made some question whether the 22-year-old is ready to take the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo. It doesn't sound like there's any doubt in the mind of Lance's head coach, Kyle Shanahan. "Trey's a great dude," Shanahan said during the 49ers' State of the Franchise event. "He's himself. You can tell he was raised very good. He treats everyone right. He's also got a little chip on his shoulder, and he likes to compete out there and play ball. And he handles himself the right way. "I think the biggest thing on Trey that everyone's got to realize is he is younger. Trey's got more horsepower inside of him


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone