Washington hasn’t had any trade discussions with another team about quarterback Kirk Cousins, team presidents Bruce Allen said Sunday from the owners meetings in Phoenix.
“Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors,” Allen told CSN Mid Atlantic. “We haven’t talked to anyone.”
The 49ers usually have been the team tied to those rumors considering that they still must fill out their quarterback corps and that Cousins has a background with new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
The team is proceeding as if Cousins won’t be available this offseason with one league source saying it would be a “miracle” if Cousins were traded this year. The one ray of light that something could get done: the principals who would be involved in a trade — like Allen, Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch — are staying at the same Phoenix-area hotel for the league meetings.
Cousins signed his franchise tender earlier this month, one that will pay him nearly $24 million for the upcoming season. If Washington can’t work out a long-term deal with Cousins by next year, franchising him for a third straight time will cost the team $35.5 million.
It’s widely assumed Washington wouldn’t do that, allowing Cousins to be an unrestricted free agent. The 49ers are poised to go into the 2017 season with more salary-cap space than any other squad, a cushion that will roll over to 2018 if it’s not used.
The 49ers have two quarterbacks — Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley — on the roster right now. Shanahan last week said he’d probably start the offseason practices with four quarterbacks.
The team is looking hard at college quarterbacks. The 49ers and the Jets worked out Clemson passer Deshaun Watson last week in South Carolina and Shanahan said there likely will be other workouts and visits with quarterbacks in the coming weeks.