One of the off season story lines for the San Francisco 49ers has been the team’s possible connection with quarterback Kirk Cousins. New head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t the only one in Santa Clara familiar with Cousins. Wide receiver Pierre Garçon was teammates with him in Washington. He spoke about the quarterback on the Rich Eisen Show. You can find the podcast here.
When Eisen asked if Cousins is a franchise quarterback, Garçon replied:
Yeah, he’s a good quarterback. He’s a good franchise quarterback. He’s the future of the league, get some players around him ... He’s definitely got some players around him now. Kirk is going to do well for them with Jordan Reed, Crowder, Pryor and Quick he’s got some weapons to continue the path he’s been on for the last three or four years.
With all of the positive spin around Cousins and the stats to back up his play, why hasn’t Washington inked a long term deal with the quarterback? Garçon doesn't know why either.
I guess they have to fall in love with him at some point. (laughing) I don't know, I don’t know why they haven’t. He’s played well, He’s shown he’s played well for them the past three, four years that I’ve been around him, Everybody else loves Kirk.
We have written ad nauseam about the dysfunction of the Washington franchise on this site. Popular belief is that Cousins would prefer to play somewhere other than Washington but the 24 million dollar payday isn't a bad exchange for staying where he doesn't want to be. All of this stems from a history of team owner Dan Snyder’s treatment of Robert Griffin III vs. Cousins during their seasons together. Specific events that happened during the time period when Griffin was injured during a game and Cousins replaced him as the signal caller were what exacerbated this already tenuous relationship.
Shanahan’s interest in working with Cousins again has not wavered, but he explained to Eisen that for now, Brian Hoyer, will be “at the controls” of the offense in Santa Clara. He reported that the quarterback has looked good during phase one and phase two of the offseason program.
Will Cousins be an option for the 49ers in 2018? Possibly. Snyder has mentioned that he wouldn’t rule out tagging Cousins a third time even though the financial cost would be outrageous. USC’s Sam Darnold will be he the hot commodity in next year’s draft but there’s no telling what that would cost in picks to trade up, assuming the 49ers have a better record than last season.