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Mike Silver thinks Kirk Cousins eventually ends up with 49ers

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Silver: “I would say it’s more likely than not that Kirk Cousins ends up being the 49ers quarterback.”

The San Francisco 49ers need a quarterback, and by all accounts, Washington QB Kirk Cousins would like a reunion with Kyle Shanahan. The sticking point remains the fact that Washington has placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins. He would likely hit free agency a year from now, but in the meantime, a trade is the only way to pry him away.

NFL Network reporter Mike Silver discussed the Cousins situation Tuesday morning. He said that he believes Cousins wants to join the 49ers at some point, and Shanahan would like to make it happen. However, the timing will remain an issue. Silver said he thinks it will happen at some point, but he acknowledged it might not be until next year. Here is a transcript of Silver’s comments.

I believe that Kirk Cousins wants to be in San Francisco. I believe that Kyle Shanahan, who has been very, very high on Kirk Cousins since he was the offensive coordinator in Washington when they drafted Cousins. I believe that marriage wants to happen on both ends. It’s an expensive marriage, and we’ll see in terms of trade compensation what it will take to get him, maybe something that happens in a year.

But if I had to make a guess one way or the other at this early stage, I would say it’s more likely than not that Kirk Cousins ends up being the 49ers quarterback.

This is not exactly a stunning prediction, particularly his inclusion of 2018 as a possibility. A trade this year makes sense if the 49ers want to make this happen sooner rather than later, but if the 49ers are willing to be patient, they can save draft picks and still get their QB of choice.

Cousins likely does not get tagged a third time next year, meaning he would hit free agency. Washington could trade him to another team, but if Cousins makes it clear he will only sign with San Francisco, it makes it difficult to get something done. And of course, it makes it unlikely Washington gets the picks it wants in a trade.

I’ll stick with the idea that the 49ers wait until 2018.