What would the Vikings do if the 49ers called about a trade for quarterback Kirk Cousins and the $76 million he's owed over the next two seasons?
It's a question that might be reality. According to sports reporter Evan Massey, the 49ers want to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and Massey says he's told that Kirk Cousins "is a name to keep an eye on, adding that if the Vikings are open to dealing Cousins, "San Francisco will push hard to acquire him."
For starters, it's not like Massey is Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport, but who's to say his report isn't legit? What's more is that reporters with much more name recognition than Massey have linked Cousins to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan before.
In March 2020, ESPN's Diana Russini said she's "never seen somebody want a quarterback as bad" as Shanahan wanted Cousins, whom he helped develop for two years when they were both with Washington.
Shanahan admitted to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer in December 2018 – after the 49ers had traded for Garoppolo – that he and GM John Lynch were still interested in getting Cousins, who was a few months from signing with Minnesota.
"But here’s what you may not know—even after San Francisco dealt a second-round pick to the Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo on Oct. 30, Shanahan and GM John Lynch had yet to shut the door on the idea of pursuing Cousins. Garoppolo had much to prove over the two months to follow, and the man Shanahan developed in D.C. in 2012 and ’13 lurked as an option if Tom Brady’s backup fell on his face."
Furthermore, Lynch told an ESPN radio station in March 2018 – just after Cousins signed his $84 million deal with the Vikings – that Shanahan was down in the dumps that he didn't get Cousins.
"We made the trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was, like, in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually. I was proud of Kyle, because I think he knew this was the right thing for our franchise. And he didn’t hesitate. But then, even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself."
Cousins is now 33 years old and due for a $31 million cap hit on the Vikings in 2021, with a $45 million paycheck waiting for him in 2022. According to The Athletic, if Cousins is traded his cap hit for a new team would be $21 million in 2021 and $35 million in 2022.
The price for the Rams to get Matthew Stafford from the Lions was first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, a third-round pick in 2021 and starting quarterback Jared Goff, who is owed more than $100 million over the next four years.
That's all there is for now, so it looks like Vikings fans are again in wait-and-see mode.