Falcons ink Kirk Cousins to massive four-year contract

NFL: OCT 01 Vikings at Panthers

The Atlanta Falcons put Kirk Cousins at the top of their wish list this offseason, and they got their guy, as he is signing a four-year deal to move down south.

The deal is worth up to $180 million ($45 million AAV), but as with all NFL contracts, the structure of the contract is important. Only $100 million is guaranteed, which is favorable for the Falcons, who can theoretically get out from under the deal after just two years if it doesn’t work out as planned.

In a lot of ways, the Falcons and Vikings were in similar situations prior to Cousins’ decision to move to Atlanta. They both have young and explosive skill groups and plenty of money to spend to improve the roster.

As Russini reported, Minnesota made a strong push to retain their quarterback, but the difference between these two franchises came down to the desperation. The Falcons were willing to go as far as needed to get a deal done. They haven’t been to the postseason since 2017, and Arthur Blank isn’t getting any younger. The Falcons owner didn’t fire Arthur Smith and hire Raheem Morris to rebuild. They believe this is a roster capable of winning right now with a competent signal caller, and Cousins might just be the best quarterback in the NFC as of today.

The 35-year-old was playing the best ball of his career last season before going down with a torn Achilles, leading the league in passing yards with 18 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions in eight games. He was on pace to throw for over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, a far cry from what’s been under center in Atlanta since they traded Matt Ryan to Indianapolis.

The primary knock on Kirk Cousins throughout his career has been his ability to win in the playoffs. It’s a fair criticism, but when looking around the rest of the conference, no quarterback is exactly a proven winner. Cousins moves the needle. The Falcons aren’t just in the playoff contender category anymore; they have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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