The Los Angeles Rams came out of obscurity to sign longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on Saturday and subsequently sent a handful of other suitors back to the drawing board. That includes the San Francisco 49ers, whose coach Kyle Shanahan may be the biggest Cousins fan on the planet.
Shanahan came clean last month, admitting he didn’t scout the 2017 quarterback draft class that included Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes diligently because he knew Cousins would be available in 2018. The 49ers failed to sign Cousins, who instead signed with the Vikings.
This misstep led to the belief that San Francisco, looking to upgrade at quarterback after making the Super Bowl a year ago, would lead Shanahan and the 49ers again to Cousins’ door.
Rumors have stirred over several days — including details of a potential offer — however, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that all these details are what they are — rumors.
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Adam Schefter Dispells Kirk Cousins Trade Rumors
Schefter spoke upon the speculation surrounding a Cousins trade on the Haberman & Middlekauff podcast, dispelling any basis of the rumors being true.
“Yeah, there’s been this Kirk Cousins talk, and I guess something could happen,” Schefter said. “But I haven’t heard that’s the case, so I don’t know where that’s coming from.”
Host Guy Haberman speculated that the 49ers losing out on Stafford and Shanahan’s love affair with his former quarterback in Washington are likely the source rumors firing up again.
And while Schefter hadn’t heard any word of the Rams wanting to ditch Jared Goff for Stafford, he is bearish on the Vikings’ willingness to give up Cousins after extending the 32-year-old quarterback.
“There are no absolutes in the league, anything is possible, but I have not heard anything about Kirk Cousins being available this offseason. We’ll see if anything changes,” Schefter said.
Cousins to the 49ers Doesn’t Suit Vikings in Longterm
Cousins’ contract has weighed on Minnesota’s cap space over the past few years. The inevitable exodus of veteran players last season and a likely possibility against this season has undoubtedly led to some resentment in the Vikings fan base.
However, Cousins only has the final year of his contract left on his contract, which guarantees after June 1. Minnesota is weathering and making do with the necessary evil of revamping an aging defense that has slid from its former glory as the league’s top unit in 2017.
The Vikings ranked dead last in starting field position on both offense and defense — a result of struggles on defense and special teams. Cousins made lemonade with abysmal pass protection, leading Minnesota to the finish fourth in total offense this season.
Yes, trading Cousins would free up cap space to keep a few veterans around and also sign upcoming talents like Brian O’Neill. However, if a serviceable quarterback is not exchanged in the deal, it would only set the Vikings back.
Jimmy Garoppolo has not proven to be a reliable quarterback in the NFL. If he is exchanged in a trade with the 49ers for Cousins and is considered anything more than capital for a trade to succeed to Cousins, Minnesota’s offense would likely be bound for regression.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.