The San Francisco 49ers do not have a quarterback. Colin Kaepernick has opted out of his contract, and Kyle Shanahan has to find a replacement. He can look to the draft. He can look for a trade. In a perfect world, he would acquire Kirk Cousins.
That, however, presents many challenges.
“Look, Kyle Shanahan really, really likes Cousins,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “He and his daddy drafted him, and they quickly felt like he was a better option than RG3. They championed him, they continued to watch him closely and they believe he’s an upper-echelon quarterback. Kyle Shanahan would have no problem paying Kirk Cousins what he’s going to get, which is going to be close to $25 million a year.
“The problem for them is they have so many holes,” La Canfora continued. “The offensive line, I suppose, is a discernible strength. There isn’t another position group on that roster that is. They have so much they need to address, and they know that just having a quarterback isn’t going to be a solution where we maybe have the worst roster in the league.”
The 49ers have fallen off the proverbial cliff in recent years. After going 36-11-1 and reaching at least the NFC Championship every season from 2011-13, the 49ers have gone from 8-8 to 5-11 to 2-14 and now have their fourth head coach in as many seasons.
There are a lot of holes to plug, and quarterback is certainly one of them. In fact, it might be the biggest hole to plug. But is it worth plugging that hole when, if you do, you won’t be able to plug any others?
“We’re picking really, really high this year, and we’ll probably be picking really high at least next year,” La Canfora said, explaining the 49ers’ mindset. “Do we really want to give up two first-round picks for the quarterback and then pay the quarterback $25 million a year and still have literally nobody on offense except for maybe a running back to help him out? And we still need to completely rebuild our secondary. And we probably still need multiple linebackers, even though two or three years ago we would have said linebacker is the biggest strength on the roster.
“Boy, there’s so much to overcome,” La Canfora continued. “I just don’t now that at the end of the day, for how far they are from a personnel standpoint, that trading three or four draft picks and having the highest-paid quarterback in the league makes sense to them.”