Near the NFL trading deadline this past season, the San Francisco 49ers swung a deal with the New England Patriots to acquire the services of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo made a hell of a first impression with the Niners, so much so that the Niners gave him a contract extension that made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. Garoppolo held that title for about a month, until Kirk Cousins signed his deal with the Minnesota Vikings a little more than a week ago.
According to a story from NFL.com, Niners’ first-year GM John Lynch said that his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, was “in mourning” when the Garoppolo deal was announced. Why? Because he, apparently, was hoping for a reunion with Cousins, who he coached in Washington in 2012 and 2013 when he was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.
“For Kyle, I think the thing I would tell people,” Lynch shared, “is we made the trade and then there were some days that Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually.”
Of course, after Garoppolo ripped off five wins in five starts to lift the Niners from the depths of the NFL to a team that has legitimate reason to be excited going forward, Shanahan’s tune has changed a little bit.
Still, given that the Niners were either poised to start or had already started a full-on reboot that began with the hiring of Lynch and Shanahan last year, it’s notable that Shanahan thought that Cousins was the sort of quarterback that could lead the Niners back to the sort of prominence they’ve had at other times throughout their history. Hopefully things will work out as well for the Vikings with the acquisition of Cousins as they appear to be for the Niners after they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo.