Bleacher Report gives high grade to Falcons signing Kirk Cousins

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March 11th, 2024 has the chance to be a day every Falcons fan remembers for the rest of their lives, as Terry Fontenot inked Kirk Cousins to one of the largest free agent contracts in NFL history. The deal is worth $180 million over four years, but with only $100 million guaranteed, it gives the Falcons an out if it doesn’t work. But if it does work the way Fontenot and Raheem Morris envision, Atlanta will be contending in the NFC again.

The decision at quarterback was going to dictate how the Falcons approached the rest of the offseason. Now, that we know it will be Kirk Cousins under center, the vision is clear. Atlanta wants to contend now, and in a wide open NFC, there’s nothing to suggest they can’t give anybody a run for their money.

Over at Bleacher Report, Brent Sobieski has been challenged with the difficult task of grading every single free agency signing as they are reported, and he has a glowing review of the Falcons acquiring Kirk Cousins.

Contract Terms: Four years, $180 million; $100 million guaranteed

The Atlanta Falcons went from the worst to the best quarterback situation in the NFC South in one fell swoop. On Monday, the Falcons agreed to a four-year deal with Kirk Cousins worth $180 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This signing wouldn’t have had the same impact anywhere else. But in Atlanta, where the quarterback position has been the driving force behind year after year of a mediocre on-field product, a proven and efficient operator behind center is the ideal addition.

Essentially, the Falcons found a pilot after building a jet fighter. The organization repeatedly failed to address the quarterback position, but it drafted tight end Kyle Pitts, wide receiver Drake London and running back Bijan Robinson with back-to-back-to-back top-10 draft picks in the meantime.

Atlanta also boasts one of the league’s best offensive lines. Quarterback was the only missing piece on offense.

Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles tendon, which is somewhat worrisome. However, his game is predicated on operating through the structure of the offense. He’s never been expected to extend or create off-platform plays.

The Falcons lured the top quarterback on the free-agent market. They did so because they had to. With that goal accomplished, they can now begin to build something of substance.

Grade: A

“The Atlanta Falcons went from the worst to the best quarterback situation in the NFC South in one fell swoop.”

There’s really not much more that needs to be said about this deal. I know some Falcons fans aren’t in love with Cousins, who hasn’t been able to get over the hump in the postseason to this point, but neither has just about every other quarterback in the NFC.

A convincing argument could be made that Kirk Cousins was the best quarterback in the conference before he suffered a torn Achilles. He was on pace for over 5,000 yards passing and 40 touchdowns. Even if it does take him a little while to find that same groove again coming off a substantial injury in a new offense, he’s miles better than what the Falcons had at the position in Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke.

This is a team that was in the playoff hunt in spite of absolutely dreadful quarterback play. At times, I’m convinced some Falcons fans aren’t quite aware of how much that changes things because it’s been so long since they saw competent play under center. If Cousins is half as good as he was last year, the Falcons will win the NFC South, and if he’s anything better, they’ll have a real chance to make some noise in the NFC.

That hasn’t been a true statement in seven years. Everybody should be excited about what’s to come in Atlanta.

Photo: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

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