Cousins likely off market for 49ers as Vikings double down on QB

Vikings' Kirk Cousins passes vs. 49ers

The 49ers seemingly have been linked to nearly every quarterback in the league this offseason, but they officially can cross another one off their list.

The Minnesota Vikings doubled down on Kirk Cousins on Wednesday, with general manager Rick Spielman firmly noting Cousins isn't going anywhere.

"I know there are a lot of rumors floating around out there, but Kirk Cousins is our quarterback," Spielman said to reporters in a video conference. "We felt that he played very well, probably the best he has ever played down that stretch last year."

"Kirk is our quarterback going forward," Spielman added. "Looking forward for him and another year in this system. Excited for him and what he's going to bring to our team next year."

Sure, the 49ers have said that Jimmy Garoppolo will be their starting quarterback heading into the 2021 season, but that hasn't stopped San Francisco from shopping around for other options. The 32-year-old Cousins started in all 16 games for the Vikings in 2020 and put up a 67.6 percent completion percentage while throwing for 4,265 yards. He threw 35 touchdowns, but his 13 interceptions tied a career-high first set in 2017 with the Washington Football Team.

San Francisco was briefly linked to the nine-year veteran in early February with the most obvious connection being coach Kyle Shanahan's relationship to Cousins. Shanahan served as Washington's offensive coordinator during Cousins' first two seasons with the organization.

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However, the 49ers also have been linked to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Carolina Panthers' Teddy Bridgewater and could also consider the New York Jets' Sam Darnold as a back-up option.

During an offseason in which Matt Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and as both Watson and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reportedly are unhappy with their respective organizations, you can't rule anything out.

But Spielman made it clear the Vikings are all in on Cousins, and the smart move for the 49ers is to turn the page as well. Garoppolo likely will be at the helm come Week 1, but San Francisco will keep an open line of communication with the rest of the league throughout the offseason, just in case. 

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