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NFL Trade Machine: This Kirk Cousins-Jimmy Garoppolo deal could actually work

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Could the Vikings and 49ers switch quarterbacks for the 2021 season? 

As the NFL free agent cycle is approaching, teams will be looking at the quarterback position. It doesn’t matter if your team have a top-five defense or quality weapons, without a quarterback it’s a moot point.

So, what are the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers?

Jimmy Garoppolo is 22-8 as a starter by the bay. Kirk Cousins has taken the Vikings to the postseason. Both have shown they can win, but their supporting casts do a lot of the heavy lifting. And when faced with pressure to be the leading man, neither has taken a huge step in a positive direction.

Could a change of scenery help? Who’s to say. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has stated he’s quite content with Garoppolo for the upcoming season. The same could be said for Rick Spielman out in Minnesota.

Then again, everyone has a price.

Could a Jimmy Garoppolo-Kirk Cousins trade actually work?

We’ve already seen an episode of ‘Trading Places: Quarterback Edition’ this offseason when Matthew Stafford was shipped out to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff. The difference? Two first-round picks and a third-round selection also went to the Detroit Lions.

Part of the reason was because of Stafford’s production in Detroit. The other reason was for the Rams to free up their cap space due to Goff’s lucrative contract. Goff’s deal will likely be restructured under Brad Holmes in Detroit, but the price for a middle-tier quarterback is far too rich just to trade players.

That will be the case for Minnesota if they are seriously considering moving off Cousins, who is set to make $21 million in 2021 and $35 million in 2022. The good news for the Vikings is Cousins would be a free agent in 2023, unlike Goff who is just starting his four-year deal.

The asking price is simple for Minnesota: a later round selection in 2022, plus Cousins will head to Kyle Shanahan. Garoppolo, along with likely a mid-round selection (we’ll say second or third round), will head to Minneapolis. Garoppolo is set to make $24.5 million in each of the next two seasons anyways. Cousins, however, is the more dependable starter at this point in his career.

The NFC West is loaded at the quarterback position. Stafford’s addition now only puts more pressure on San Francisco to land a better name they trust.

Cousins thrived early in Shanahan’s system back in D.C., can he do it again?

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