49ers general manager John Lynch reflected Thursday on what the team originally had in mind for its quarterback of the future, which had little to do with Jimmy Garoppolo, now the NFL’s second richest man. First-year coach Kyle Shanahan, who knew Cousins from his time with the Redskins, was apparently all-in on the 2018 free agent, even after the 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots last season.
“We made the [Garoppolo] trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was, like, in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually,” Lynch said on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo.” “I was proud of Kyle, because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise. And he didn’t hesitate.
Cousins one-upped him when he agreed to terms with the Vikings last week on a deal that will pay him $28 million each year, with all $84 million guaranteed.
No matter, the 49ers are content with the guy who blew them away.
“We saw a guy who made everybody around him better, and I think that’s the mark of a great leader. That’s the mark of a great quarterback,” Lynch said. “There’s not a huge sample size, so there’s a lot of faith involved in our decision, absolutely. But we’re excited for his future.”
The Jets contingent includes general manager Mike Maccagnan, head coach Todd Bowles, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and VP of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger.
The Jets hold the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft after trading up with the Colts. They signed veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, but are still looking for a long-term answer at the position.
New Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson was asked if he and Morris Claiborne can form the best cornerback tandem in football.
“Why not?” Johnson said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “I’m going to hold him accountable, and I know he’s going to hold me accountable. I just can’t wait to go out there and compete with the guys.”
The Jets signed Johnson to a five-year, $72.5 million contract with $34 million fully guaranteed at signing. But he is not worried about living up to that deal.
“No pressure at all,” he said. “I know what I can do. I know what I can bring to the game. I’ve been confident all my life. I love winning, and I can’t wait to get started with this defense.”