Kyle Shanahan isn’t even head coach yet and people are already looking forward on how to fix their dismal roster. One of the key positions no doubt to be looked at will be quarterback. Colin Kaepernick can opt out for free agency, Blaine Gabbert has completed his contract, and with the number 2 pick, there’s still little to offer as far as quarterback prospects until draft research is done. The free agency class isn’t much better unless you can think of Ryan Fitzpatrick running a Shanahan offense.
But then there’s Kirk Cousins. Finishing a year where Washington franchised him, and where he threw for over 4900 yards (with a 67 percent completion rate), Cousins could be a huge offensive addition and if any team can lure him away from Washington’s grip it would be the 49ers. Adam Schefter wrote that is a possibility:
Former Washington offensive coordinator and current Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.
Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.
If Washington were to slap the franchise tag on Cousins again, it would go over 20 million. Granted, they rolled over 15 million in cap space and are projected to have the seventh most cap-space in the league, it wouldn’t kill them, but it will only get more expensive.
But enough about Washington, would Cousins be the long-term option the 49ers need at quarterback? He has experience in Shanahan’s system, it’s just a matter of if Shanahan would want him. After Shanahan officially signs papers to come work in San Francisco of course.