San Francisco 49ers fans who watched Joe Montana and Steve Young are forever spoiled when it comes to who is barking signals behind center. Our expectations are higher than any other fan in the NFL; we expect greatness, MVP awards, perfect three-step drops from feet in LA Gear cleats, passes that hit slant routes in stride and hanging 55 points on all Super Bowl opponents.

Since Young retired, we've been waiting on a quarterback to float down from Heaven and fill these double-laced cleats. Sure, we saw flashes of brilliance from Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith, and Colin Kaepernick. But these men did not add a new silver trophy to the case, and in the fans' eyes, that's a failure. This season, unless aliens give Brian Hoyer a super-suit that grants him other-worldly talent, he will not bring this team to eight or more wins, let alone a championship.

All this leads to a fresh round of Kirk Cousins speculation, but this time for the 2018 season. The 49ers haven't completed a single training camp warm-up jog and ugly rumors about Cousins donning a gold helmet next season are destroying the Internet. This story, like bad teenage acne, simply will not go away.

There are no quotes from Kyle Shanahan stating his intense love for Cousins, the quarterback's brilliance, or how Shanahan is prepared to pay any price or bear any burden to have Cousins behind center. 49ers fans from far and wide have suffered through endless offseason speculation about an impending Cousins move to the Mission City.

Nobody can discount the numbers Cousins put up over the last two seasons. He's thrown for just over 9,000 yards, tossed 54 touchdowns, and completed 68.4-percent of his passes. These are jaw-dropping statistics, despite a 17-14-1 record. Additionally, Cousins' success has been in an offense developed by Jay Gruden and Sean McVay, not Kyle Shanahan.

Under Shanahan, Cousins had four starts resulting in one win and three losses. Over those four games, Cousins was 114 for 203 – a 56.2-percent completion percentage – with eight touchdowns and ten interceptions. Cousins looked good in his first win against the Atlanta Falcons on December 16, 2012, but looked dreadful in a game against the New York Giants on December 29, 2013. He completed 19-of-49 passes that day for 169 yards. As Washington's offensive coordinator, Shanahan never a made a comment about Cousins being the best quarterback for his offense.

In fact, before Washington fired the Shanahans at the end of the 2013 season, Kyle Shanahan scoffed at starting Cousins over Robert Griffin III. At the end of a Washington press conference on December 12, 2013, a reporter asked Kyle Shanahan "… no matter what happens in the next three weeks, you're still really confident that, come Week 1 next year (Robert) Griffin reverting back to 2012 is your guy."

Shanahan's response?

It's ridiculous to act like this is a quarterback competition. Robert just had the best year as a rookie in NFL history. To give up on him and say you can play someone else? To me, that's fun for people to talk about. It hasn't entered my brain... it's not even a possibility or option to me.

This year, the 49ers were prepared to enter the offseason without a quarterback on the roster. With Cousins set to become an unrestricted free agent and Shanahan's hire on February 6, the rumors of a reunion made sense. The team needed a veteran quarterback, and even if Shanahan's offense had evolved since his time with Washington, Cousins could step into an ideal situation. Bringing in old man Matt Schaub would have enraged the fan base, and Matt Ryan wasn't leaving Atlanta. However, a deal with Cousins didn't work out in February, March, or on draft day, and it looked like he would not wear 49er red.

Over the past week, the Cousins-to-the-49ers story emerged from the Lazarus Pit, but with a new angle. According to sources and everyone but a 49ers coach or executive, the 49ers were eyeing Cousins for the 2018 season. We have a full season of football ahead of us. The 49ers' fate has not been written yet, so why the continued intense pipe-dream on Cousins?

I'm all for the 49ers having an eye on the future, whether that be draft picks, trades, releases or rebuilding strategy. But I'm not supportive of looking past this season and investing a high dollar on an unproven quarterback who's been touted as the Second Coming.

It's high time to move on from the Kirk Cousins fantasy. If the girl you want to take to prom turns you down three times, there's no sense in continuing to knock on the door. At some point, her dad's going to chase you off the steps with a motorcycle chain and a broken pint of vodka. In our case, Washington continues to use its franchise tag on Cousins, forbidding him to talk with other teams and creating an artificially inflated monetary value on a 19-win quarterback.

Enough is enough. John Lynch needs to make this situation die a much-needed death and release a statement that counters the endless Cousins rumors. Let's live in this season – not a speculative 2018 free agent market – and allow this year's roster prove itself as winners or losers.
  • Bret Rumbeck
  • Written by:
    Bret Rumbeck has been writing about the 49ers since 2017 for 49ers Webzone and 49ers Hub. He is a Turlock, CA native, and has worked for two members of the US House of Representatives and one US Senator. When not breaking down game film, Bret spends his time seeking out various forms of heavy metal. Feel free to follow him or direct inquiries to @brumbeck.