Several Falcons have a prove-it year in 2024, including Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins Falcons

The Falcons have a monumental season coming up, and the two most important people in the equation are brand new to Atlanta. Kirk Cousins and Raheem Morris have a lot to prove in 2024, but they’re hardly the only ones. Here’s a list of Falcons with a prove-it year coming up.

Raheem Morris

Typically, first-year head coaches don’t have to deliver immediately, but that’s not the case in Atlanta. Raheem Morris is expected to lead the Falcons to the postseason and end a drought that began in 2018 after the team signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal. Teams don’t do that unless they think they can compete. This season is of the prove-it variety because if Atlanta misses the playoffs, Morris’ seat will quickly begin to warm.

Kyle Pitts

Pitts’ fifth-year option was picked up, and it’s fully guaranteed, so there’s no chance that an underwhelming 2024 campaign will result in him getting booted out of Atlanta. The Falcons’ 2021 first-round pick will be in town next season no matter what; however, a contract extension depends on a big 2024 campaign.

Not only is it in Pitts’ best interest to go out and perform this year, but obviously it’s in the team’s best interest as well. To this point, he hasn’t lived up to the billing of the highest-drafted tight end in league history. The Falcons hope that changes following the addition of Kirk Cousins, who will be by far the best quarterback Pitts has played with in his career, including Matt Ryan in his final year in Atlanta.

Richie Grant

Unlike Pitts, Richie Grant is entering a contract year, and it looks like he’ll hit free agency next offseason. The 2021 second-round pick was replaced by rookie seventh-round pick DeMarrco Hellams last season, and it seems it’ll be an open competition between the pair of safeties. Grant has a lot on the line in 2024, including a contract in 2025 and beyond.

Kirk Cousins

Nobody has more to prove than Kirk Cousins because the clock is ticking on Michael Penix’s rookie contract. The Falcons invested $180 million in the veteran quarterback, but nearly every other move has signaled they’re investing in the future of the team, rather than building a true contender.

The reality is Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris’ ultimate goal is to get Penix on the field, which obviously conflicts with Cousins’ preference of playing football in Atlanta. The Falcons are giving Cousins the runway of 2024 to prove he can elevate the team. As soon as doubt creeps into the minds of Fontenot and Morris about Cousins’ ability, his time in Atlanta will come to a screeching halt.

Every single outing will be a prove-it situation for Kirk Cousins and the Falcons.

Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire


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