Kirk Cousins agrees to deal with Falcons, ending era with Vikings

Kirk Cousins will be entering his 13th NFL season. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Kirk Cousins has been ridiculed and derided, for his inability to win enough big games or take his teams on deep playoff runs.

However, he still has a lot of value in the NFL as a productive, veteran quarterback. It just won’t be with the Minnesota Vikings anymore.

The Atlanta Falcons are going to find out what Cousins has left. Cousins agreed to a deal with the Falcons, according to mulitple reports including ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That move has been rumored for a few days, and now the Falcons get a big quarterback upgrade with new coach Raheem Morris. It’s a four-year deal according to reports, though it can’t officially be signed until Wednesday.

Maybe Cousins can finally get that playoff success and a little more respect.

Kirk Cousins has plenty of experience

Cousins is a known commodity. Some might say that established level isn’t worth chasing, but he has always put up good numbers.

Cousins’ first six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings were pretty good, after he signed an unprecedented three-year, $84 million deal that was fully guaranteed. He threw for 23,265 yards and 171 toucdhowns in those six seasons. He made three Pro Bowls. He was also solid in his six seasons with the Washington Commanders, before the Commanders couldn’t afford any more franchise tags for him and he hit free agency.

It wasn’t enough for some people who equated Cousins with mediocrity, even though he had given the Vikings a higher floor at quarterback than most teams had the past six seasons.

Cousins was playing very well last season when he tore his Achilles tendon late in a game against the Green Bay Packers. That added a layer of question to Cousins’ offseason, as his seemingly never-ending string of contract extensions with the Vikings ran out and he became a free agent. A quarterback about to turn 36 years old, coming off a major injury, was far from a sure thing.

But Cousins still offered a better answer at quarterback for a needy team than many of the other options. The Falcons have a pretty good situation for Cousins to walk into.

Falcons have weapons

Part of the criticism of former coach Arthur Smith was how poorly he used his best players on offense. And the Falcons have plenty of good players.

Bijan Robinson was a top 10 pick at running back. Drake London is a solid No. 1 receiver. Kyle Pitts is one of two tight ends in NFL history with 1,000 yards as a rookie. They all are fantastic players, but they were stuck with a bad quarterback and a coach who stubbornly refused to use them correctly.

The coaching situation has changed. And so has the quarterback.

Perhaps Cousins can get the most out of his teammates. He’ll have to prove he’s healthy, but if he can play like he did last season before the injury, it will boost everyone on the offense. The Falcons play in a very weak NFC South and could walk right into a division title if Cousins plays well.

What he does on his third and likely final NFL stop will help shape Cousins’ legacy, for better or worse.

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