Adam Schefter on Kirk Cousins Trade to 49ers: 'I Haven't Heard That's the Case'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2021

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass in the third quarter during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Bears defeated the Vikings 33-27. (AP Photo/David Berding)
David Berding/Associated Press

ESPN's Adam Schefter has downplayed rumors centered around the San Francisco 49ers' interest in Kirk Cousins

"Yeah, there's been this Kirk Cousins talk, and I guess something could happen," Schefter said on The Haberman & Middlekauff Podcast (via NBC Sports Bay Area's Josh Schrock). "But I haven't heard that's the case, so I don't know where that's coming from. ... There are no absolutes in the league, anything is possible, but I have not heard anything about Kirk Cousins being available this offseason. We'll see if anything changes."

Upgrading at quarterback makes sense for the 49ers.

high-ankle sprain limited Jimmy Garoppolo to six games in 2020, the second time in three years an injury ruled him out for the season. A torn ACL kept him out for all but three games in 2018.

Garoppolo may not raise San Francisco's ceiling when he's healthy, either. He threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Niners reached Super Bowl LIV in 2019. His performance against the Kansas City Chiefs (20-of-31 for 219 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions) ultimately illustrated his limitations, though.

Targeting Cousins would be an odd way to replace Garoppolo, though.

The Minnesota Vikings made a big bet on Cousins when they signed him to a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract in 2018, on the heels of an NFC title game appearance. Since then, Minnesota has missed the playoffs twice.

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Much like with Garoppolo, building the offense around Cousins provided the Vikings with a high floor but seemingly put a cap on how great they could be.

Cousins is also due to count for $31 million against the cap in 2021 and $45 million in 2022. Garoppolo's cap figures over the next two years are $26.4 million and $27 million.

Maybe Cousins would get the 49ers closer to a Super Bowl. He's a two-time Pro Bowler with a far better track record injury-wise.

However, the gap between him and Garoppolo isn't enough to justify the cost associated with effectively swapping the pair.