A Kirk Cousins trade to the 49ers probably won’t happen in 2021

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Some recent news suggests the Minnesota Vikings quarterback won’t be heading west next year.

Prior to signing with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, there were some who believed Kirk Cousins would end up joining the San Francisco 49ers.

Cousins had a connection to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan from when they were both part of the Washington Football Team and it seemed like the two were heading towards a reunion.

But before Cousins hit free agency in 2018, San Francisco made a deal with the New England Patriots to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a few weeks into the 2017 season and he’s remained with the 49ers ever since.

Minnesota Vikings probably won’t trade Kirk Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021

Before the free agency period even began in 2018, San Francisco decided to give Garoppolo a five-year contract extension worth $137.5 million. The 49ers clearly thought he could be their franchise quarterback when they extended him.

Fast forward to now and there’s some chatter that San Francisco could be looking to move on from Garoppolo after this season. If the 49ers do look to part ways with the quarterback, it likely won’t be accomplished with a trade.

On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer revealed that Garoppolo has a no-trade clause in his current contract with San Francisco that doesn’t expire until March of 2022. Meaning if the 49ers find a team willing to trade for the quarterback next year, they will need his approval to complete the deal.

Shanahan also said on Tuesday that he expects Garoppolo to be with San Francisco for the 2021 season. So it doesn’t sound like the 49ers will be looking to acquire Cousins from the Vikings in the near future.

Now, San Francisco could always release Garoppolo next year since it would free up $24.1 million in cap space. But they would probably only do that if they had a solid plan to find his replacement and with Shanahan’s comments about Garoppolo returning in 2021, it doesn’t sound like the 49ers will have a new starting signal-caller next season.

This Cousins connection with San Francisco is still something to pay attention to since nothing is a guarantee in the NFL. But 2022 is starting to sound like a more believable time when the current Minnesota quarterback could end up with the 49ers.