Vikings leave door open for Falcons to sign Kirk Cousins in free agency

NFL: OCT 29 Vikings at Packers

For any team that has a need for a quarterback and wants to compete in 2024, Kirk Cousins is the most attractive offseason target, which should include the Falcons.

Arthur Blank didn’t fire Arthur Smith because he wanted to rebuild. The club’s owner expects to be competitive in 2024, and a rookie quarterback isn’t going to maximize Atlanta’s chances of ending their postseason drought in 2024.

Preferably, the Falcons fill both long-term and short-term needs in the coming months, even if it means double dipping in the quarterback market. Signing a win-now free agent like Cousins while drafting a guy like J.J. McCarthy to sit and learn behind the veteran for the future would be ideal.

The Falcons won’t be alone in their pursuit of Kirk Cousins, though. As I mentioned, every club that has a void at the position and wants to compete will be interested in the 35-year-old, including the Vikings. However, Minnesota may have left the door open for Atlanta to steal him.

According to Sports Illustrated, the Vikings aren’t too keen on handing the veteran signal caller a fully-guaranteed deal, which has been a consistent theme since he arrived in Minnesota six years ago.

Cousins cannot be franchise-tagged, so the Vikings very well could watch the ever-consistent veteran walk in free agency. Spotrac estimates Cousins could be worth a three-year deal that carries an average annual value of $39.3 million.

For a soon-to-be 36-year-old, that’s a lot of change, especially if it’s fully guaranteed. However, before he tore his Achilles in Week 8, Cousins was in the midst of a career year.

Cousins averaged 291.4 passing yards per game, which is his highest mark since 2016, and he threw 18 touchdowns compared to five interceptions. If the Falcons are getting that kind of production, $40 million a year is about right and maybe even a little under-market. Those are top 10 numbers at a price that is outside the top 10 of highest-paid quarterbacks.

If the Falcons aren’t as fixated on the guarantees, they could easily convince Kirk Cousins to come to Atlanta. The NFC South is much more winnable than the NFC North, Cousins’ wife is from the metro area, and the Falcons roster is ripe for a quarterback to help realize its full potential.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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