Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is out for the year after suffering an achilles injury in October. He is a free agent following the season.
The Atlanta Falcons have struggled moving the ball through the air in 2023. There are a combination of factors involved in Atlanta’s aerial deficiency. However, quarterbacks Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke have done little to reassure Falcons fans they are long-term answers. Or even short-term answers.
Cousins is 35-years old and coming off an injury. Both Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN think Cousins has a legitimate shot of ending up in Atlanta next year.
“I’ve started asking teams about this, and Atlanta comes up fairly often,” Fowler wrote on ESPN+ about where Cousins plays in 2024. “The Falcons have improved their roster and need a quarterback to bring it all together.
“What coach Arthur Smith does on offense meshes with Cousins’ ability to utilize play-action. Cousins would find comfort in Atlanta’s talented roster of playmakers, similar to what he had in Minnesota. The chance to win is there. And though Cousins will be expensive, he is going on his fifth NFL contract (excluding franchise tags from the Washington days) and will turn 36 in August. A team set to have $36 million in cap space in 2024 should be able to handle his potential deal.”
Graziano agreed, but for the sake of argument picked another team.
“The Falcons are a good one, Jeremy,” wrote Graziano. “My sleeper is Green Bay. Jordan Love doesn’t look like the answer, and while the Packers are as patient as any team in the league, they’re also used to winning. Cousins knows the Packers’ offense because it’s a derivative of Kyle Shanahan’s scheme from their time together in Washington, and Cousins and Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur could work well together.”
The Falcons have managed their salary cap to be a player in free agency again this winter. If Arthur Smith returns, he will be in a win-now mode. Smith won’t have the luxury of developing a rookie quarterback.
The Falcons enter the bye week at 4-6 and still don’t have an answer at quarterback. Cousins is a veteran-bridge option that gives the Falcons legitimate playoff hopes in 2024.
Ridder has a chance to claim the quarterback spot the final seven games of the season. Until that happens, the Falcons will be exploring every option for 2024, including Cousins.