Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Florio speculates 49ers could trade for Kirk Cousins if Jimmy Garoppolo has a poor 2019

Jun 15, 2019 at 3:48 PM--

No, this isn't a story from 2017 when Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers were still heavily linked to quarterback Kirk Cousins. I can understand your confusion. The team moved on after acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots and Cousins, formerly with Washington, signed on with the Minnesota Vikings.

Both quarterbacks did well for themselves contract-wise. Garoppolo ending up receiving a five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million while Cousins signed a three-year deal worth $84 million. The only difference is that Cousins' contract is fully guaranteed, so the Vikings are locked into a whole lot of money for their quarterback.

A season-ending ACL injury ended what was to be Garoppolo's first full season as a starter. He is expected to be ready for the start of the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Minnesota finished 2018 with an 8-7-1 record, missing the playoffs. While the year wasn't what the fanbase had hoped for, Cousins finished the season with a Pro Football Focus grade on par with his best seasons in Washington.

But what happens if Garoppolo doesn't end up being the quarterback that Shanahan and the 49ers had hoped him to be? What if his 2019 campaign is a huge letdown?

Buried inside a Pro Football Talk article about the Vikings' potential salary cap issues on the horizon was some speculation on the part of Mike Florio. He believes that should Garoppolo not prove to be the answer in San Francisco this season, the Vikings might be able to offload Cousins to Shanahan, who has always been fond of the quarterback.

Florio writes the following:

"And the Vikings may, depending on what happens in San Francisco this year with Jimmy Garoppolo, find that trade partner in Kyle Shanahan, who served as Washington offensive coordinator in 2012 when Cousins was drafted and who had been regarded as a serious Cousins suitor before the decision to trade for and then to sign Garoppolo to a five-year deal that pays out, on average, $27.5 million per year."

The 49ers do have an out on Garoppolo's contract after 2019. The quarterback will have earned nearly $60 million over two seasons, and the 49ers would absorb just $4.2 million in dead cap space should they decide to part ways with the quarterback.

While I'm not agreeing that this scenario is in the realms of possibility, it is interesting to see that someone is still trying to link Cousins to the 49ers over a year-and-a-half after that scenario was seemingly put to bed.

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