Where will Cousins play in 2018? McCloughan: 'Tough question to answer'


Where will Cousins play in 2018? McCloughan: 'Tough question to answer'

Quarterback Kirk Cousins will turn 30 years old during training camp next summer.

Where he is when he blows out the candles will be one of the major NFL storylines after this season. Washington has held onto him the past two years with the franchise tag.

If Washington were to place the tag on him for an unprecedented third consecutive year, Cousins would earn $34.5 million next year.

“I know they like him,” former 49ers and Washington general manager Scot McCloughan said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “I know he likes it there. He’s been there the whole time.

“He’s battled through things and he’s shown resiliency. He’s shown leadership. The players like him. The players trust him. The coaches do, too.”

Cousins is off to a hot start this season, as the 49ers are next up on the schedule. Cousins has completed 66.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,004 yards in four games. He has thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 107.6.

“He won’t back down,” said McCloughan, who compared Cousins to Alex Smith. “He’s got a lot of football ahead of him. He takes care of himself – mentally, physically, emotionally. He’s going to be a good player, wherever he’s at -- (Washington) or somewhere else.”

Mike Shanahan was Washington's head coach and Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 2012, when the club selected quarterback Robert Griffin with the No. 2 overall pick. In the fourth round, Washington drafted Cousins.

“I know with Mike and Kyle drafting him in Washington, they know him really well," McCloughan said. "They know what kind of guy he is.”

But it is far too early to guess where Cousins might play next season. The 49ers are one of three winless teams in the NFL, and McCloughan said he believes three quarterbacks will be selected within the top-10 of the draft. The veteran market -- free agency or trade activity -- opens in March. The draft is approximately six weeks later.

But the first move belongs to Washington, which can tag him or extend a lucrative multi-year contract offer.

“It’s a tough question to answer because there’s no solid answer for it right now,” McCloughan said.

Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy


Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin revealed another tragedy struck his family this week.

Just five weeks after the death of his unborn child due to complications in pregnancy, Goodwin revealed his biological father passed away last week.

“I’m blessed,” Goodwin said after the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans. “I’ve been dealing with a lot. I’m blessed. I’m thankful for the opportunity. God has shown me so much in this season. I had a lot going on this year losing my baby and I just recently lost my biological father this week.

“It’s just been a lot, but I really didn’t let the outside negative energy affect how I play, how I approach this game or how I come to work each day. I just kind of stayed positive and kept my mind fresh, and I relied on God to bring me through all of the situations that I’ve been through.”

Goodwin has played a key role in the 49ers’ three-game winning streak. On Sunday, he caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards in the 49ers’ win over the Titans. In the past three games, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

Goodwin has already posted the best numbers of his five-year NFL career with 51 receptions for 897 yards.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 on Sunday:

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has brought something special to the 49ers. The team won just once in its first 11 games of the season. Since Garoppolo took over as the starter, the 49ers are 3-0, including two late-game comebacks.

His performance Sunday was his best, as the 49ers took down the Titans – a team battling for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

The 49ers were trailing by one point with 1:07 remaining and had the ball at their own 25-yard line. Garoppolo immediately completed passes to Trent Taylor, George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. And the next thing you know, the 49ers had moved 48 yards down the field for the game-winning field goal.

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 pass attempts for 381 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 106.8.

The 49ers are settling for way too many field goals, so all is not perfect. But considering where this team – where this offense – was before Garoppolo arrived on the scene, and it has been a remarkable transformation.

The 49ers rolled up 414 yards of total offense despite a sputtering run game. Garoppolo spread the ball around to nine different receivers – including himself. He made the ill-advised decision to hold onto a ball that came back at him after being deflected at the line of scrimmage. Garoppolo was quickly tackled for a 6-yard loss.

So, yes, he’s not perfect.

As if five field goals and a streak of 19 accurate kicks in a row was not enough, Robbie Gould had to make one more on the final snap of the game to prevent what would have been a heart-breaking defeat.

Gould was true, making a 45-yarder as time expired, to go along with kicks of 38, 48, 28, 50 and 48 yards. He made five field goals two weeks ago against his former team, the Chicago Bears, in a 15-14 victory at Soldier Field.

In the past three weeks, Gould has made 15 field goals – something no kicker has done in NFL history over a three-game stretch.

Gould has made 36 of his 38 field-goal attempts (.947 accuracy) and already is second all-time in club history for made field goals in a season. David Akers made 44 in 2011.

Every game during the 49ers’ three-game win streak there has been someone else who steps up in a big play. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, however, has been the constant.

Goodwin caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards, including an 11-yarder on the field drive that helped get the 49ers into range for Gould’s winning kick. In three games with Garoppolo as the starter, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

But he is not alone.

Tight end Garrett Celek had three catches for 63 yards. Rookie tight end George Kittle had a big 24-yard reception on the final drive and finished with 52 yards receiving. Undrafted rookie wideout Kendrick Bourne contributed four catches for 85 yards.

And on the defensive side, there was no play bigger than DeForest Buckner’s stop of DeMarco Murray on a third-and-2 play for no gain that forced the Titans to settle for Ryan Succop’s 50-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining and ensured the 49ers would have enough time for Garoppolo to work his magic.