49ers rumors about Kirk Cousins are about to make a comeback

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (L) and San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (R)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (L) and San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Just when you thought the rumors about the 49ers trying to land Kirk Cousins had gone away for good, think again.

It took the San Francisco 49ers years to fully quit quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

It might take them longer to fully quit the idea of landing still-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Scroll back through the head coach Kyle Shanahan regime, and at most points during any given offseason, there's at least some chatter about Cousins somehow winding up in a Niners uniform. Shanahan's affinity for Cousins is no secret, and neither is the fact Shanahan's original plan from back in 2017, when he took the head-coaching job, was to eventually land Cousins.

Even prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, rumors about San Francisco pursuing Cousins gathered steam... again.

Those rumors, like so many of the ones before, petered out. Shanahan and the 49ers appear set with second-year quarterback Brock Purdy, while both Trey Lance and Sam Darnold battle it out between now and Week 1 of the regular season for the No. 2 role on the depth chart.

But, just when you thought the Cousins-Niners rumors had gone away for good, prepare yourself. They're about to return again.

Kirk Cousins expects Vikings to let him walk in 2024

Cousins hits a crossroads with Minnesota after this season. As Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio pointed out, the Vikings can't tag Cousins, and even Florio was part of those spring Cousins-to-San Francisco rumors that persisted prior to the draft.

So, by a process of elimination, that leaves two options. Either Minnesota re-signs or extends Cousins, or he signs elsewhere via NFL free agency.

According to The 33rd Team's Ari Meirov, Cousins is of the opinion that the Vikings aren't going to extend him a new contract once 2023 is in the books:

If you've followed those Cousins-49ers rumors for any length of time now (bless you if you've made it through all of them), you probably know where we're going with this.

Kirk Cousins rumors about joining 49ers will undoubtedly pick up again

Let's bring Shanahan and the Niners back into all of this.

Shanahan moved on from Garoppolo, which was the plan all along after San Francisco drafted Lance at No. 3 overall back in 2021. But Lance, who has just four regular-season starts since then with a 2-2 record at the NFL level, is now on the fringes of the starting lineup thanks to Purdy. And, to a lesser extent, Darnold.

Darnold, signed only through the upcoming season, isn't likely a long-term answer either.

So, as things would appear, Purdy has to be viewed as the next quarterback to steer the 49ers offense for the long run, right?

Read more: Latest Brock Purdy news spells doom for Trey Lance

Except Purdy is working his way back from offseason elbow surgery on his throwing arm. While all signs are pointing to a full recovery, there's the very real chance he's not even close to the same as he was when he went on his torrid tear to help get the Niners into the NFC Championship game.

Should that happen, while neither Lance nor Darnold are viewed in favorable lights, there's going to be no shortage of chatter about Shanahan finally having his shot at Cousins.

Just seven years later.

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