Bengals QB Dalton could have been a 49er

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Bengals QB Dalton could have been a 49er

In trying to gauge Jim Harbaugh's interest level in quarterbacks before the draft, it seemed reasonable he would like TCU's Andy Dalton.Dalton seemed to have the attributes -- quick release, accurate in the short-passing game -- that fit the prototypical quarterback for a West Coast system. Plus, he was a four-year starter and a winner.
There were plenty of reasons to like Colin Kaepernick, too. He has a strong arm and possesses great athleticism, smarts and character. In the lead-up to the draft, my question was whether Harbaugh would think Kaepernick was a good fit for his system after he played in Nevadas famed Pistol offense.The answer was, clearly, yes.The 49ers traded up to No. 36 to select Kaepernick after the Cincinnati Bengals chose Dalton at No. 35. Whats also clear is that Harbaugh wouldve been happy with either quarterback."Yeah, we had a high evaluation of him," Harbaugh said of Dalton on Wednesday.Dalton has gotten off to a strong start for the Bengals as their starter. He completed 66.1 percent of his passes in two games with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating is a strong 105.7. Dalton will start against the 49ers on Sunday.Meanwhile, Kaepernick is one snap away from seeing the field with the 49ers. He is Alex Smiths backup. After the fact, we found out how close Kaepernick was to playing on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Smith sustained a concussion that was not diagnosed until after the game.Kaepernick remains on call for the time when his number is called.

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

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.

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula reportedly might be back in the NFL after a one-year hiatus.

Tomsula, who spent his first eight NFL seasons as a defensive line coach, could be returning to that job with Washington, Carol Maloney of NBC4 reported on Sunday. But according to the Washington Post, a deal is not done between the two sides.

If the deal were to happen Tomsula would be rejoining Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and general manager Scot McCloughan, both of whom he worked with while members of the 49ers organization.

Tomsula was promoted to the head-coaching job over finalist Adam Gase two years ago after the 49ers' “mututal parting” with coach Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula was fired after the 49ers went 5-11 in 2015. Chip Kelly was hired to replace Tomsula. Kelly was fired after the 49ers went 2-14, including a franchise-worst 13-game losing streak.