SF 49ers: 5 quarterbacks fans should cross off 2021 ‘wish’ list

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kirk Cousins, Kyle Shanahan, Minnesota Vikings, SF 49ers
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

It seems nearly every available quarterback has been linked to the SF 49ers this offseason, yet these five QBs should be an easy ‘no.’

It’s not hard to find quarterbacks linked to the SF 49ers this offseason.

Regardless of whether or not you’re in the camp thinking the Niners should move on from their current starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, you’ve probably grown used to all the rumors and speculation head coach Kyle Shanahan will make some changes under center between now and training camp.

There are plenty of reasons why. Garoppolo’s unfortunate injury history, his $26.6 million cap hit in 2021 and thoughts of a potential upgrade, either immediately or over the long run, have fueled all the chatter about Jimmy G’s future.

And that’s led to so many other names out there, including soon-to-be LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and the still-hopeful blockbuster trade for someone like the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson.

Watson could be in play, yes. Yet there are plenty of other names out there somehow linked to San Francisco.

But these five names should be off every Niners fans’ wish list heading deeper into the offseason.

No. 5: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

As long as Shanahan is head coach, there are going to be thoughts of him wanting to reunite with his former protege in Washington, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins, 32 years old, might be seen as only a marginal upgrade over Garoppolo anyway. The former’s 105.0 passer rating in 2020 is only slightly ahead of the 102.0 rating Jimmy G put up during his last fully healthy season back in 2019, and perhaps the only argument in favor of Cousins here is he’s avoided the injury bug.

Perhaps that’s fuel enough. But the fact Cousins is older and hasn’t exactly cemented himself as the guy in Minnesota is cause for concern.

Plus, the numbers simply don’t add up anyway. Even with Shanahan’s perceived “infatuation” with Cousins, the Niners would have to take on $21 million after a would-be trade in 2021 then figure out a way to absorb a $35 million base salary in 2022, according to Over the Cap.

It’s not exactly a better financial situation than San Francisco already has with Garoppolo.

Giving up NFL Draft assets, especially early picks, only drives the point home further: Cousins isn’t worth it under nearly any circumstance.