Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Peter King defends his Cousins-to-49ers 3-team trade proposal

Mar 1, 2021 at 5:53 AM--


NBC Sports' Peter King took a lot of heat for his proposal of a three-team trade between the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, and Minnesota Vikings. The writer had Deshaun Watson ending up with the Vikings, Jimmy Garoppolo with the Texans, and Kirk Cousins with the 49ers.

It's that last part that drew ire from fans. It wasn't just because of Cousins ending up in San Francisco, a rumored scenario that seems to pop up every offseason, but what the 49ers give up in the trade. King has the Niners surrendering not just Garoppolo in the deal but also the No. 12 overall pick. That sounds like too much for what doesn't, on the surface, seem like an upgrade.

"Does Kyle Shanahan still love Kirk Cousins? I don't know," King said on 95.7 The Game last week while defending himself. "I still think he respects him a lot, and deep down inside, sees one day that it might be fun to actually be able to have this guy as his quarterback because he loved him so much when he was in Washington."

King defended himself again in his latest Football Morning in America column. This time, the writer pointed to each quarterback's injury history as the reason why Cousins could be viewed as an upgrade over Garoppolo.

"I think I fully understand the many Niners fans who thought my suggestion of Kirk Cousins for Jimmy Garoppolo and a first-round pick was a crazy overpayment to Minnesota," wrote King. "When they're both on the field, there's not that big a difference. I'd rather have Cousins, but it's a close call. But there's the 'when they're both on the field' part.

"Cousins has missed one of his last 96 games due to injury. Garoppolo has missed 23 of his last 48 games due to injury. The question is: Is it worth a first-round pick to have the insurance of having a B quarterback on the field every week—or would you rather take the risk that Garoppolo, a B quarterback at best if his history is the judge, plays for 16 games? And if not, that you have a decent chance of winning with a (Nick) Mullens or a (C.J.) Beathard or some other veteran backup?

"I'm not saying Cousins is the missing piece on a Super Bowl champ. I am saying, I might rather have the insurance of the 13th-best quarterback (or whatever you'd rate Cousins), knowing he's likely to be on the field every week."

Last week, Football Outsiders wrote something similar in an ESPN feature, calling Cousins a "healthier version" of Garoppolo. They, too, pointed to the 49ers quarterback's 23 missed games over the past three seasons.

"They're not identical players -- Garoppolo hits more explosive plays but also gives up more sacks and interceptions -- but Cousins has basically been a healthier version of Garoppolo," wrote Football Outsiders. "And that health could mean the difference between San Francisco challenging for Super Bowls or missing the playoffs entirely."





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