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Kyle Shanahan must have certainly circled this week’s matchup between his San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins, with a big, fat magic marker. After all, he hasn’t been shy about slinging some passive aggressive mud around, about his time in the nation’s capital. His team is struggling; and he’d like nothing more for those struggles to come to an end at Fed Ex Field on Sunday. Does Shanahan’s return affect the Redskins odds for the next game?

It doesn’t appear so, with the Redskins being given their first ten-plus point spread of the season (11), over the winless 49ers.

Shanahan is in his first year of a six year deal with the 49ers, and they are re-building. Perhaps that gives him a distinct advantage over the two guys that went before him, and only got one year each. One of those guys was current Redskins defensive line coach, Jim Tomsula, and the other was Chip Kelly. That turnaround makes Shanahan the third coach in three years, following a time where Jim Harbaugh was producing winning teams there. Including a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

But the current 49ers and Shanahan have a long way to go before they can start thinking about a Super Bowl appearance. Their defense is currently ranked 30th in yardage allowed, and is a big part of why San Francisco haven’t won a game yet.

They suffered a tough 26-23 loss in overtime on Sunday – their second overtime loss in a row – to a fairly lacklustre Andrew Luck-less Colts team that is now 2-3.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer has been utilitarian, but hardly what Shanahan likely imagines running his style of offense. He was ‘solid’ against Indianapolis, putting up 353 yards and throwing two touchdowns; but he also had four incompletions on their overtime drive when it mattered most. It’s that kind of lack of consistency that already has pundits whispering about backup C.J. Beathard potentially replacing Hoyer. Regardless of wether or not Beathard actually steps in for Hoyer, it’s hardly a position of strength for San Francisco.

Shanahan and Kirk Cousins got along very well in Washington. It’s no secret that the 49ers boss covets having the Redskins current quarterback to run his offense.

Cousins hasn’t negotiating with Washington on a contract since early 2016, so it seems very improbable that he will be in Washington next year. They would have to pay him $35 million to tag him a third time, and that (hopefully) doesn’t make sense to anybody. It also gives Washington zero bargaining power on a contract when Kirk can do nothing and get $35 million from Washington. There’s no incentive for him to sign a long term deal that won’t likely even add up to the franchise tag total unless it’s for multiple years.

Safer to assume that Kirk is heading for what he might consider greener pastures.

What better place to call home, and what better person to commiserate on his time in Washington, than Shanahan and the 49ers?

If it happens, it will be ‘sad’ to see Kirk go. Decent quarterbacks are hard to find. He’s a good guy, and who can begrudge him being overpaid? Good work if you can get it. But going from $24 million to $35 million per year, would be entering the sublime.

Rest assured that San Francisco won’t be paying him $35 million per year, or even $25 million.

But don’t bet against him being a 49er in 2017/2018.

So it’s entirely conceivable that on Sunday, Shanahan is facing his future quarterback.

More By Mark Solway

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