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Florio: Murmurs tying the 49ers to Kirk Cousins were back at the NFL combine

Apparently the NFL hasn’t given up on Kirk Cousins ending up with the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

If quarterback Kirk Cousins never plays for the San Francisco 49ers, it will not be due to a lack of rumors. In a conversation with Chris Simms, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio revived rumors that the Niners have interest in acquiring the current Vikings quarterback. Florio and Simms were discussing the future of 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, postulating potential trades, when Florio said executives around the league were speculating about a potential Cousins trade to the 49ers during the NFL Scouting Combine.

“Apparently, at the scouting combine there was some chatter, there was some noise, among people within the broader league structure, not the media, but people in the league about Cousins being traded to the 49ers,” Florio said. “That was a hot topic at one point in Indianapolis.”

Shanahan, of course, coached Cousins during his tenure as the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator. Shanahan planned to sign Cousins as a free agent to become the 49ers quarterback before he changed plans when the team acquired Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots. Cousins went on to sign with the Vikings instead.

Since the combine, the 49ers have signed quarterback Sam Darnold, giving them three quarterbacks who started multiple games in 2022 (Lance, Darnold, and Brock Purdy) on the roster. While it’s possible the Niners could move Lance prior to the draft, it seems more likely that the former third overall pick will compete with Darnold to be San Francisco’s starter until Purdy returns from UCL surgery.

Florio also pointed out that the Vikings have since restructured Cousins’ contract, which makes a trade far less likely. Nevertheless, Cousins is slated to be a free agent after next season, and it’s hard to imagine Shanahan will not make a run at the former Michigan State signal caller if the 49ers have an open spot on their quarterback depth chart. Granted, he would surely prefer that either Purdy or Lance are solidified as the team’s franchise quarterback by then.

You can watch Florio’s full conversation on the 49ers quarterback situation, Lance, and Cousins with Simms here: