Last season didn't go as planned for the Minnesota Vikings or the San Francisco 49ers, albeit for different reasons.
After signing quarterback Kirk Cousins in the offseason, the Vikings stumbled to an 8-7-1 record, missing the playoffs one year after going to the NFC Championship Game. Cousins, despite tossing 30 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, underperformed the massive contract he was given and was a clear scapegoat for the Vikings' disappointing year.
As for the 49ers, after Jimmy Garoppolo went down in Week 3 with a torn ACL, the wind was taken out of their sails and they limped to a 4-12 finish.
Both the 49ers and Vikings have high hopes for 2019, but if things go awry for both squads, one NFL analyst could see Kyle Shanahan swapping Jimmy Garoppolo for Kirk Cousins.
Yes, you read that correctly.
On Pro Football Talk Live, Mike Florio floated the idea of Shanahan -- who was Cousins' offensive coordinator for two seasons with the Redskins -- electing to move on from Jimmy G if his 2019 is subpar and grab Cousins should the Vikings cut bait with the veteran QB. Chris Simms, who knows Shanahan well, doesn't think it's as impossible as it sounds.
"I don't think it's crazy, Mike," Simms said. "You know, this thought or this theory, I don't think it's crazy.
"I do think we are getting to the end of the territory or the end of the shelf life of this Minnesota football team. What you're saying if things didn't work out this year and they went 7-9, 6-10, 8-8 and miss the playoffs -- do they abandon ship, restart and retool their team? And yes, if the 49ers underperform, you know, could I see them going after a Kirk Cousins? Certainly. I really could see it happening."
Slow your roll, Chris.
After acquiring Garoppolo from the New England Patriots in 2017, Jimmy G went 5-0 as a starter and was rewarded with a massive five-year, $137 million contract. But should things go bad in 2019, the 49ers would only face a $4.2 million cap hit if they chose to move on from the star quarterback.
It would be a shock to see the 49ers part with Garoppolo in favor of an aging and overrated Cousins, but stranger things have happened.