Report: Atlanta Falcons believe Kirk Cousins would make them contenders

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons reportedly think they would be contenders with quarterback Kirk Cousins on the team.

“That gets us to Cousins,” The Athletic’s Dianna Russini wrote.

“He is the most valuable player on the market despite an Achilles injury he suffered in October. The [Minnesota] Vikings want to retain him, and the 35-year-old has expressed his love for the organization, but history has shown us that Cousins is the best contract negotiator in sports. The question remains how high Minnesota is willing to go to keep the quarterback that coach Kevin O’Connell clearly wants back running his offense.

“Over the next month, I’m keeping an eye on the Falcons. They believe Cousins is the type of player who moves them from a fringe playoff team to a contender. New Atlanta head coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson both have familiarity with Cousins. Knowing this could be a seamless transition for Cousins and the talented young group of players across their roster, I expect the Falcons to compete for the rights to his contract. It makes all the sense in the world.”

Cousins played in just eight games (all starts) with the Vikings during the 2023 regular season and totaled 2,331 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns and 112 first downs passing. Minnesota had a 4-4 record in the games he played in. But the Vikings ended up with a 7-10 record on the season, meaning they were 3-6 without Cousins on the field.

Minnesota finished tied with the Chicago Bears for the worst record of any team in the NFC North division.

Like the Vikings, the Falcons were one of the worst teams in their division this season. They finished with an identical record to Minnesota’s at 7-10. The lone team in the NFC South with a worse record was the Carolina Panthers, who picked up just two wins all season.

Desmond Ridder — who has two seasons of NFL experience under his belt — served as the Falcons starting quarterback in a majority of the team’s games in the 2023 regular season. But he didn’t exactly show out for Atlanta, as he logged just as many interceptions as passing touchdowns (12) and averaged just 189.1 passing yards per contest played across 15 games and 13 starts.

However, the Falcons were a competitive team with Ridder as their starter, as Atlanta owned a 6-7 record when he got the nod. For comparison, the Falcons owned a 1-3 record in games where someone other than Ridder started.

It’s still hard to argue that Cousins wouldn’t be a significant upgrade over Ridder at the quarterback position for the Falcons, as the former threw for more touchdowns this past season despite playing fewer games and averaged significantly more yards per contest. Cousins also boasts playoff experience, while Ridder has yet to play in a playoff game since being drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Therefore, it’s easy to understand why the Falcons believe that the addition of Cousins would make them a better team.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.