Despite having young prospects such as Brock Purdy and Trey Lance in their quarterbacks’ room, reports indicate that the San Francisco 49ers explored trading for veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins.
According to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk, while at the NFL scouting combine back in March, the Niners — one of the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl next season, with their current betting odds trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles — explored acquiring Cousins from the Minnesota Vikings.
At the Scouting Combine, there were rumors of a potential trade that would have sent Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to the 49ers.
Cousins has been linked to San Francisco from the moment Kyle Shanahan became the head coach. Kyle served as offensive coordinator in Washington when Kyle and his father, Mike, drafted Cousins in 2012. And Kyle has admitted that he planned to sign Cousins in 2018, with the 2017 trade for Jimmy Garoppolo derailing that intention.
Ultimately, though, the trade never materialized as Cousins restructured his contract with Minnesota while San Fransisco added Sam Darnold to their depth chart behind Purdy and Lance.
Now, the Niners will head into the season with a journeyman, a third-year player coming off a devastating injury (Lance), and a second-year player that’s also coming off a significant injury (Purdy).
Still, the fact that the explored trading for Cousins suggests that perhaps the organization isn’t 100% comfortable with handing the keys of a Super Bowl-contending team to an unproven quarterback.
At this time, while the Niners have yet to officially name a starting QB for the 2023 season, general manager John Lynch said that he believes Purdy is the “leader in the clubhouse” for the job.
Cousins, 34, was originally drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft and has been the Vikings’ starter since 2018. Over the course of his career, the former Michigan State Spartan has completed 66% of his passes for 37,140 yards, 252 touchdowns, and 105 interceptions.
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