What Vikings' Kirk Cousins extension means for Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers

What Vikings' Kirk Cousins extension means for Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers

Here’s something new: There's new speculation that Jimmy Garoppolo’s spot with the 49ers is solid for at least a couple more seasons.

One day after reports that the 49ers are not interested in pursuing free-agent quarterback Tom Brady, another quarterback who has been linked to San Francisco signed a two-year contract extension with his current club.

On Monday, the agent for quarterback Kirk Cousins announced that his client signed a two-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings.

That deal, which keep Cousins under contract to the Vikings through the 2022 season, should bring an end to the chatter that if Garoppolo falls short of expectations this season, the 49ers will replace him with Cousins.

Coach Kyle Shanahan was Cousins’ first offensive coordinator in the league. It is no secret that the 49ers envisioned signing Cousins as a free agent in 2018. Then, the 49ers landed Garoppolo in a 2017 midseason trade with the New England Patriots, and that ended that.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Cousins’ new deal will pay him $66 million over the final two years of the deal.

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Garoppolo is signed through the 2022 season. He performed well in his first full season as a starter in 2019, completing 69.1 percent of his pass attempts for 3,978 yards, with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Garoppolo’s passer rating for the season was 102.0.

The 49ers defeated the Vikings, 27-10, in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Cousins completed 21 of 29 passes for 172 yards with one touchdown and one interception. In that game, Garoppolo was 11 of 19 for 131 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk reaches 'soft 21 mph' running on treadmill

49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk reaches 'soft 21 mph' running on treadmill

Every year at the NFL Scouting Combine, all eyes are on the 40-yard dash. Sometimes, though, numbers do lie. 

Brandon Aiyuk, who the 49ers took with the No. 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, ran a 4.50 40, but in reality, he likely is even faster. The former Arizona State receiver was coming off a core-muscle injury that surely hurt his time. 

How fast is the rookie? Well, he ran a "soft 21 mph" in a recent workout video. 

Aiyuk's speed actually is so impressive that only three players in the NFL reached a faster in-game speed than him last year. Tracked by a GPS device in Aiyuk's shoulder pads, he got up to 21.3 mph in 2019. Former 49ers running back Matt Breida had the fastest in-game speed in the NFL last season at 22.3 mph. 

[RELATED: Defending Jimmy G: Why 49ers QB deserves more respect]

As a senior last season, Aiyuk hauled in 65 receptions for 1,192 yards (18.3 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns as freshman Jayden Daniels' top target. Aiyuk also averaged 31.9 yards per kick return and 16.1 yards per punt return. 

There's no doubt Aiyuk will have a tough learning curve in Kyle Shanahan's complex offense, especially with such an odd offseason. At the same time, he could be the perfect deep target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, especially with his blazing speed. 

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Raheem Mostert looks forward to running behind Trent Williams

49ers' Raheem Mostert looks forward to running behind Trent Williams

Life without Joe Staley at left tackle always looked like a point in the 49ers' timeline that would come with some growing pains.

Maybe not.

That’s because the 49ers worked hard to complete a trade with Washington for seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams before Staley went public on the final day of the NFL draft with his decision to retire after 13 NFL seasons.

Williams sat out last season, but big things are expected from the big man in an offense that places a premium on athletic linemen to perform coach Kyle Shanahan's steady diet of outside zone run plays.

“Trent is an unbelievable tackle,” 49ers running back Raheem Mostert said. “He’s probably one of the most athletic guys I’ve seen thus far on tape. I’m so excited and can’t wait to work with him.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

For the first time since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2015, Mostert has established himself as a running back.

He led the 49ers’ run game with 772 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season. Mostert rushed for a franchise-record 220 yards and four touchdowns in the 49ers’ victory over Green Bay In the NFC Championship Game.

Williams (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) played his first four NFL seasons in Shanahan’s offensive scheme. He joins a unit that ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 2,305 yards rushing during the regular season.

[RELATEDHow 49ers' Raheem Mostert is preparing for steadier, heavier workload]

Mostert said he likes the composition of the 49ers’ offensive line, naming right tackle Mike McGlinchey, left guard Laken Tomlinson and center Weston Richburg as others who are fully capable of carrying out the demands of the offense. There figures to be competition at right guard with Daniel Brunskill, veteran Tom Compton and, perhaps, rookie Colton McKivitz.

“I can’t be any more happy and excited to get that ball rolling,” Mostert said.