Potential landing spots in a Kirk Cousins trade, per ESPN insider

NFL: OCT 01 Vikings at Panthers

Kirk Cousins was hoping to avoid something in Minnesota but ultimately still found it in Atlanta.

It was reported that Cousins didn’t re-sign with the Vikings, in part, because they were open with the veteran about their intentions of drafting his successor. Obviously, money played a part. The Falcons offered more in every facet of his contract.

However, Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris never indicated they’d be searching for his replacement before he even took a snap in Atlanta. It came to a head when the Falcons drafted Michael Penix.

It’s predictably resulted in projected turmoil as pundits talk through different scenarios of transitioning from Cousins to Penix. Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently highlighted the veteran as one of the best losers impacted most by a rookie.

In that, he discussed a multitude of things that I will eventually talk about, but this is about Barnwell projecting potential landing spots in a trade.

The Falcons may have just lit a fire under Kirk Cousins, similar to what the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay drafted Jordan Love in 2020, and Rodgers went on to win back-to-back MVPs before the Packers ultimately traded him last offseason.

I seriously doubt Cousins will go out and win an MVP, but nobody should be surprised if he goes out and performs well for the Falcons. That may push off the inevitable; however, it won’t change the fact that Cousins is unlikely to play out the entirety of the four-year contract he signed.

He has a full no-trade clause, so the Falcons would indeed need his approval of any deal, but Barnwell projected a few potential landing spots already.

“Otherwise, the other potential landing spots appear to be with the Raiders, Steelers and Titans, none of whom have a settled quarterback of the future. The Giants, Jets, Saints, Seahawks and even the Dolphins could also be in the market for a veteran starter,” Barnwell stated.

The Falcons surely wouldn’t deal Cousins to the Saints, and the Dolphins are expected to extend Tua Tagovailoa, so those seem very unlikely. However, the Raiders, Giants, and Seahawks all seem very possible.

New York is clearly not excited about Daniel Jones. Seattle and Las Vegas have yet to really invest in a young signal caller and seem to be on the cusp of doing so. The Falcons could end up shipping Cousins off as soon as next offseason, per Barnwell.

“If Cousins plays well in 2024 and both he and the Falcons want to split, there will be a market for him next year.”

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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