It's long been known that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is a fan of Kirk Cousins. The two worked together in Washington, and rumors persisted years ago about Shanahan eyeing a reunion with the quarterback. It turns out the coach even offered San Francisco's No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft to acquire Cousins, as The Athletic reported this week.

"(Kyle) knew Kirk knew his system, and he knew the type of guy Kirk was," Shanahan's father, Mike, told Alec Lewis. "But (Washington) wouldn't even return the phone call."

The 2017 season was Shanahan's first as 49ers head coach, along with general manager John Lynch. They would go on to use the third overall pick on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Later that year, at the October trade deadline, San Francisco would also acquire QB Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots. Cousins, meanwhile, would play out his second straight franchise tag with Washington before landing a three-year deal with the Vikings in 2018 free agency.

"He would've stayed in Washington," Cousins' father, Don, told The Athletic. "He loved living there. He's a history guy and loves the vibe of the whole city. But he wasn't going to play and be undervalued."

Years later, Cousins' peers and teammates revealed, the Vikings veteran is increasingly at peace with himself in Minnesota after a career spent as an "information vacuum" -- admittedly self-obsessed with improvement and validation at the game's greatest position. His long-term football future is unclear, as he enters 2023 in a contract year. But he's apparently never been more content.

"I'm still a work in progress," Cousins said, of his ability to find work-life balance. "But I feel like I'm getting closer."