Washington places tag on Kirk Cousins, making him off-limits to 49ers

Washington places tag on Kirk Cousins, making him off-limits to 49ers

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the 49ers’ apparent quarterback targets is no longer available for negotiations.

Washington designated quarterback Kirk Cousins as the team’s exclusive franchise player, the club announced on Tuesday. The move, in essence, takes Cousins completely off the free-agent market.

Washington opted for the exclusive tag, rather than the ordinary franchise tag. Once a player is tagged as an exclusive franchise player, his previous team holds his sole negotiating rights. It does not eliminate the possibility of a trade.

Under the non-exclusive tag, outside teams are still allowed to negotiate with the player. If a team were to sign a player an offer sheet under the non-exclusive tag, that team would owe two first-round picks as compensation.

Cousins, who becomes the first quarterback in NFL history to be designated as his team’s franchise player in back-to-back years, is expected to earn approximately $24 million on a one-year contract.

If Cousins and Washington do not agree on a long-term contract within the next year, Cousins would be eligible to hit the free-agent market next year.

The 49ers were viewed as a team that would be interested in acquiring Cousins this offseason. Mike Shanahan was Washington’s head coach and Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 2012 when Cousins entered the NFL in 2012 as a fourth-round draft pick.

Cousins, 28, has been Washington’s starter the past two seasons. He completed 69.8 percent of his pass attempts in 2015 with 29 touchdown passes and 11 touchdowns and a passer rating of 101.6.

Last year, Cousins was third in the league with 4,917 passing yards with an 8.1 average per attempt. He ranked seventh in the NFL with a 97.2 pass rating.

New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are in the market for quarterbacks with the start of the free agency and trades scheduled for March 9.

Colin Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract. If he does not, the 49ers would not be expected to bring him back on his scheduled $14.9 million pay for 2017.

Each of the other three quarterbacks on the 49ers’ roster – Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis -- are scheduled free agents.

Kyle Shanahan attends Stanford pro day, while John Lynch scouts QBs

Kyle Shanahan attends Stanford pro day, while John Lynch scouts QBs

STANFORD – Coach Kyle Shanahan remained in the Bay Area while a contingent of 49ers hit the road this week to scout quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer.

On Thursday, general manager John Lynch, personnel executives Adam Peters and Martin Mayhew, and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello watched Notre Dame’s pro day, Shanahan remained close to home to watch Stanford prospects.

“We live right next door, so it’s easy to drive over and see it and I can go right back to the office,” Shanahan said. “They went out three days ago. So they have a whole week on the road and it’s been better for me to stay in the office with the film and get our coaching staff ready. In two weeks our players get here, so we got a lot to do.”

The 49ers’ offseason program can begin on April 3, but Shanahan has opted to spend another week preparing for the arrival of his veteran players.

Among the veterans who will be reporting for the offseason program are quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. The 49ers have not shown any interest in re-signing Colin Kaepernick.

“We’re pretty comfortable right now with the options that we’ve had and are available, but we never stop looking,” Shanahan said. “Every day something could pop up and you never know, so I’ll never tell you guys that we’re fully done because you never are.”

Lynch led the 49ers’ scouting effort this week to North Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame. Shanahan, who will likely determine the direction the 49ers take at quarterback in the draft, said he will have plenty of time to evaluate the prospects up close.

“We haven’t mapped them all yet, but I’m sure I’ll do a couple private workouts, whether it’s me or our quarterbacks coach,” Shanahan said. “But one of us will do it – kind of spread us out a little bit.

“Most of the pro days, we get most of those videos anyway, so there are a few guys will have private workouts for, not just quarterbacks but other positions, too. Some guys you don’t have to do it with.”

The two headliners at Stanford’s pro day were defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and running back Christian McCaffrey. Thomas appears to be a strong candidate for the 49ers if they hold onto the No. 2 overall pick.

Report: Former 49ers defensive tackle signs with Packers

Report: Former 49ers defensive tackle signs with Packers

Ricky Jean-Francois reportedly found a new team on Thursday.

The former 49ers defensive tackle signed a one-year deal with the Packers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

San Francisco selected Jean-Francois in the seventh round of the 2009 draft.

After appearing in just three games as a rookie, the LSU product saw in action in all 16 regular season games in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Jean-Francois played for Indianapolis in 2013 and 2014 and Washington the last two years.

His deal with Green Bay is reportedly worth $3 million.