Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.
On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.
Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.
Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”
Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.
Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.
Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.
Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.
If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.
Before the 49ers will have an opportunity to officially hire Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as the team’s next head coach, executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe will have a chance to meet with him for a second time.
The Falcons advanced to Super Bowl 51 with an impressive 44-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. Shanahan's offense rolled up 493 yards and converted 10 of 14 (77 percent) on third downs. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 27 of 38 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns.
Shanahan, who was voted the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year last week in a voting of the Pro Football Writers of America, is scheduled to interview with the 49ers on Friday, a source told CSNBayArea.com
NFL rules prohibit the 49ers from hiring Shanahan until after the Falcons’ final game of the season. Atlanta will face the Pittsburgh-New England winner in Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5 in Houston.
Shanahan is expected to be involved in the 49ers’ process to hire a general manager. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough are the finalists among a group of nine candidates who interviewed. The 49ers could also open up the search to consider other candidates, the source said.
Shanahan is expected to become the second coach in 49ers history to be hired after being a coordinator on a Super Bowl team. In 1989, the 49ers promoted defensive coordinator George Seifert after Bill Walsh stepped down following the team’s victory over Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII.
Shanahan’s father, Mike, was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator on the Super Bowl-winning team after the 1994 sesaon. Shortly after the 49ers won the Super Bowl with a 49-26 rout of the San Diego Chargers, Shanahan was hired as Denver Broncos head coach. The elder Shanahan served as Broncos coach for 14 seasons and won two Super Bowls.
Atlanta coach Dan Quinn was hired two years ago on the day after the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl 49. Quinn was Seattle’s defensive coordinator.
The person who replaces the next 49ers head coach could reportedly be the previous 49ers head coach.
Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who reportedly told his staff last week that Kyle Shanahan would take the 49ers job, has been compiling a list of offensive coordinator candidates.
On that list to interview is former 49ers coach Chip Kelly, reported Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Kelly interviewed with Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone for the team's offensive coordinator position last week. Marrone hired Nathaniel Hackett.
The 49ers are not allowed to hire Shanahan until the Falcons’ season is over. A source told CSNBayArea.com that the 49ers' interview scheduled depends on the outcome of the Falcons' NFC Championship game on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers plan to interview Shanahan for a second time Monday and Tuesday if the Falcons lose on Sunday. If the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the Falcons will make Shanahan available for an interview on Friday.
The 49ers announced the firings of Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke just hours after the team concluded its 2-14 season.