With the Los Angeles Rams agreeing to a trade to acquire Matthew Stafford, the cohort of media and 49ers fans online needed another quarterback to link San Francisco to this offseason.
Enter: Kirk Cousins.
Rumors around Cousins and the 49ers started circulating earlier this week, but ESPN's Adam Schefter says there's nothing to the Twitter talk, and that the Vikings have no desire to move on from Cousins at the moment.
"Yeah, there's been this Kirk Cousins talk, and I guess something could happen," Schefter said on the "Haberman and Middlekauff" podcast (h/t 49ers Webzone), "but I haven't heard that's the case, so I don't know where that's coming from.
"What does that mean? Who's reporting it that is credible?" Schefter later asked. "I have not heard anything about Kirk Cousins being available. ... 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."
The connection between Cousins and the 49ers is obvious. Kyle Shanahan was Cousins' offensive coordinator in Washington and it's been reported that Shanahan wanted to make Cousins his franchise quarterback with the 49ers prior to the trade that brought Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco.
Stafford heading to the Rams makes it all the more likely that the 49ers will run it back with Garoppolo as their starter in 2021. They know that Garoppolo is a solid NFL starting quarterback when he's healthy. Aside from his injury issues, the biggest hang up with Garoppolo is his turnover-prone nature and what appears to be a limited ceiling in Shanahan's offense.
The talk around the 49ers' starting quarterback position will continue until Shanahan and general manager John Lynch make it clear that Garoppolo will be their guy in 2021. The 49ers entertained the idea of signing Tom Brady last offseason and reportedly discussed a Stafford trade with the Lions but never made a formal offer.
The 49ers could hope that one of the top quarterbacks in the draft falls to them at No. 12. But the 49ers have more pressing issues than quarterback that they need to address in the draft.
The smart money is on Garoppolo returning as the starting quarterback. If the 49ers do make a change, it doesn't sound like Cousins is the direction they will go in.