Report: Christian Wilkins, Danielle Hunter were top Falcons free agent targets

dmk191215121 min at lac

The Falcons were all in on Kirk Cousins, but it wasn’t clear that Kirk Cousins was all in on the Falcons.

His agent, Mike McCartney, was negotiating with both the Falcons and Vikings brass, leveraging offers against each side. Atlanta was willing to go further in both guarantees and average annual value than Minnesota, but Terry Fontenot wasn’t taking any chances.

The Falcons GM set up contingencies, and according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, those plans were to have a more “economical player at the (quarterback) position” like “a rookie or a vet such as Justin Fields” in favor of spending more money on defense.

To be specific, the Falcons were going to target Danielle Hunter and Christian Wilkins, even going as far as touching base with each player’s agent to get an idea of their price tags.

“So Fontenot took a call from David Mulugheta, the agent for Wilkins, and a text from Zeke Sandhu, the agent for Hunter, both of whom told him they expected the bidding on their free agents to get to, and probably past, $25 million per year,” Breer stated.

Eventually, the Falcons’ willingness to give Cousins a fully guaranteed deal in 2024 and 2025 with $10 million in 2026 and more than $40 million AAV won the bidding war. Terry Fontenot got their guy and went away from the star defenders in favor of cheaper options.

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