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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports


Jay Gruden reveals how much Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers were willing to give up for Kirk Cousins

Nov 14, 2021 at 1:26 PM--


Upon being hired as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan planned to be patient and build a roster in preparation for potentially inserting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins was with Washington at the time, but it was a near-certainty that the relationship would eventually end. The 49ers coached rolled with placeholders until that time presented itself.

The 49ers have admitted that they looked into potentially trading for Cousins. However, with the situation in Washington speeding toward an eventual divorce, it seemed to make more sense to wait and see what happened. There was also the obstacle of the strained relationship between the Shanahans and Washington.

Cousins never ended up in Santa Clara with Shanahan. The free-agent quarterback eventually signed a fully-guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. San Francisco was never an option as the team had already traded for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Former Washington head coach Jay Gruden, now the offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined "The Kevin Sheehan Show" and revealed what the 49ers were willing to offer Washington in exchange for Cousins. Of course, we already know that then-general manager Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder had no interest in dealing the quarterback to Shanahan. So it didn't matter what the Niners were willing to offer.

What was the offer, though? Gruden claims Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were willing to send Washington a haul of draft capital for Cousins (h/t to Matt Hladik of The Spun). That reportedly included two first-round picks and may have included multiple second-round selections on top of that.


"Obviously dealing with the Shanahans was something that [Allen and Snyder] did not want to do," Gruden said via Jake Russell of The Washington Post. "I don't think that they could stomach having Kirk Cousins be successful for Kyle Shanahan… and I think there was still some hope that we could re-sign him."

Washington was willing to pass on an excellent package of draft capital to keep a quarterback who was going to leave anyway. It would be interesting to know how the 49ers fanbase would have reacted to the team surrendering that much for Cousins, who wasn't a popular option among The Faithful.

The 49ers ended up reaching the Super Bowl during the 2019 season with Garoppolo. This offseason, the team surrendered multiple first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up in the draft to select quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick.



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