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Let the leveraging begin; 49ers, Browns mentioned as potential Kirk Cousins trade targets

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I’m shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that someone would leverage the 49ers and Browns in the QB trade market.

The NFL quarterback market is a significant question mark for the time being thanks to numerous potential trades that could happen. Jimmy Garoppolo and Tony Romo are the two most notable, but Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins could end up on the market as well. Washington is likely to place the franchise tag on him, but it would potentially be in hopes of leveraging a trade.

And now, we have the first leak to gin up interest. Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole posted one of his “insider buzz” videos in which he says Washington is going to consider their options, including a potential trade. He then says the 49ers and Browns would be the two most likely targets. You can watch the short video here, or read this transcript:

A Washington source indicated that [they] are willing to weight their options this offseason with quarterback Kirk Cousins, including the possibility of trading him with either San Francisco or Cleveland being the most likely destinations. The 49ers would chase Cousins once they hired Kyle Shanahan, and perhaps would include the No. 2 overall pick in the deal. The Browns also have interest, and Cousins played in Hue Jackson’s offense under Jay Gruden.

Once the 49ers get things finalized with Kyle Shanahan, I fully expect more rumors through February and into the start of the new league year. Teams cannot talk trade until the new league year starts in mid-March, but these kinds of discussions get started much earlier at events like the NFL Combine.

I am not entirely sure how the trade market will work for quarterbacks. Romo, Cousins, and Garoppolo are three very different quarterbacks in terms of their overall profile. If two or more of them ended up traded, will it be something that happens in a rush when the new league year starts, or will we see one, then a wait, then the second, then a wait, then potentially the third?