Kirk Cousins has one less suitor now

Getty Images

Before the 2017 season began, a potentially fascinating free-agency tug of war loomed between the 49ers and Rams for quarterback Kirk Cousins. After all, both of his offensive coordinators in Washington, Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, were first-year coaches without clear answers at quarterback beyond this year.

But then Rams quarterback Jared Goff began to play like the first overall pick in the draft and, now, Shanahan has acquired Jimmy Garoppolo for a second-round pick in 2018. While it’s still possible (but not likely) that the Rams will decide to get in the Cousins business next year, the 49ers most likely are out of the market for Captain Kirk.

This makes Washington an unintended beneficiary of the trade between San Francisco and New England, taking out of the mix a natural fit for Cousins. If he leaves D.C. after the season, he’ll likely end up in a place where he’ll be working for someone he didn’t previously know.

It doesn’t mean Cousins will have no suitors. After all, healthy, successful quarterbacks on the right side of 30 rarely hit the open market. But the absence of the 49ers as an obvious destination complicates things, at a minimum, for Cousins — and it makes a long-term deal with Washington more likely than it was this morning.

For now, the most obvious potential destinations are the Jets, the Browns (if they decide they’ve seen enough from DeShone Kizer, or if they hire a new coach), the Jaguars, the Colts (if Andrew Luck is done), the Chargers (if Philip Rivers is done, or if they want him to be done), the Broncos (if they decide none of their current options is the answer), the Giants (if they decide to move on from Eli Manning), the Saints (if Drew Brees leaves), and the Cardinals (if Carson Palmer retires, or if they hire a new coach). Without a coach of an offensive coordinator in place with whom Cousins feels comfortable, staying put makes a lot more sense.

So why would Shanahan want Garoppolo over Cousins? Even if the 49ers have to tag Garoppolo as a precursor to signing him to a long-term deal, it’ll cost a lot less to keep him than it would to sign Cousins on the open market.

There’s also a chance that, after a few months with Garoppolo, Shanahan decides to let Garoppolo walk, collect the third-round compensatory pick in 2019, and pursue Cousins. It’s not likely, but it’s far more likely than the move that came out of the blue on Monday night.

26 responses to “Kirk Cousins has one less suitor now

  1. Cousins could still go to SF. Picking up Garoppolo for a 2nd rounder only gave the Niners more options when it comes to addressing the most important position on the team.

  2. Kirk is actually having a down year, he definetly misses DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Doctson and Pryor have been complete bust for the Skins, Kirk is also 0-3 in the division (NFC East) so the best he can go as the Redskins QB for the rest of the year is 3-3 and that would require the skins sweeping the Giants and beating the Cowboys in Dallas. Probably not what Kirk Cousins imagined when he bet on himself once again for this year. He is playing like an average quarterback and that’s exactly what he is, you can win with him but you need lots of talent around him for him to be successful, He is not an elite quarterback and he does not deserve 35-45 million dollars guaranteed but the Redskins are stuck. They like him but don’t love him, will be interesting to see what happens during the offseason.

  3. Garoppolo needs to show he can be the guy in Kyle’s offence, if not Cousins will still be in play.

  4. Not sure what the fuss about Cousins is all about. Great guy but he’s a middle of the pack QB, no more.

  5. Between the uptick in value expected to be available in the draft, and all the QB’s mentioned with the note ‘if the team decides to move on’ there will be a bunch of possible short term and long term answers at QB available this off season.
    Leverage may not be as strong as assumed.

  6. It’ll be Jacksonville.

    They have one of the leagues best defenses and every starter is under contract through at least next season.

    They have an elite rookie running back.

    Cap wise, just take the money Bortles is on the books for with the fifth year deal and give that money to Cousins.

  7. I disagree. If Jimmy G doesn’t work out, the 49er’s still have the cap money to get Cousins if they want him. If Jimmy G does work out, they’ve got their guy for a relative bargain compared to what they’d have to pay for Captain Kirk. I think it’s a good deal for the 49er’s who have little to lose at this point.

    That being said, what does this bode for the Patriots? Tom may be terrific but time is not on his side. Who will now be his replacement?

  8. Why hasn’t it occurred to anyone that Shanny got garoppolo to facilitate a less expensive trade/deal with Washington after the transition tag him? Jimmy goes to Washington, everyone is happy.

  9. fieldingfowler says:
    October 31, 2017 at 12:29 am
    This will shock everyone, but when Roethlisberger retires after this season, Cousins will be a Steeler.

    bold prediction but you may just be right

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.