John Keim of ESPN.com reported Tuesday a "source close to the quarterback" stated Cousins would like to team up again with former Redskins offensive coordinator and new Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan. His contract situation could be a sticking point for all parties involved, though.
It's a complicated situation that will feature another hurdle if Washington uses the franchise tag on Cousins before the deadline, an expected move. If the QB signs the one-year deal to play under the tag, he must then get clearance from the team to discuss a potential trade with other teams.
Keim noted the 28-year-old Michigan State product isn't going to block any trades, but he also won't immediately sign a new deal with a new team if it's not San Francisco. In addition, it's unclear whether the 49ers would offer him the type of long-term deal he's been seeking from the Redskins.
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Cousins hasn't made any public comments about where he wants to land for the long haul. He's remained reserved while waiting for the front office to make the next move in the process, as he told reporters at the Pro Bowl.
"They've got the cards, and they're holding them," he said. "They're going to choose what they want to do. I respect their judgment and their opinion, and I'll react accordingly. We'll go from there."
James Walker of ESPN.com pointed out the quarterback said he planned to play under the franchise tag for a second straight season if that's how the situation ultimately played out.
"We will cross that bridge when we come to it, but I would probably do what I did last year," Cousins said. "I will sign it and play with it. I'm not afraid."
The 2012 fourth-round pick enjoyed a second straight strong season for the Redskins. He completed 67 percent of his throws for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His passer rating ranked seventh in the NFL. He added four rushing touchdowns.
San Francisco has made sense as a possible landing spot since it hired Shanahan. Between his previous work with Cousins and the franchise's continued effort to find an answer under center, it's a logical fit if the sides could come to terms on the return package.
The Redskins, however, don't have a clear choice to fill the void if they traded Cousins. Colt McCoy, who holds a 78.9 career passer rating, is next on the depth chart. The front office would likely need time to explore other avenues before agreeing to move Cousins to the Niners or another team.