NFL Trade News: Falcons to acquire Kirk Cousins on 4-year, $180 million deal with $50 million signing bonus

Amid the flurry of free-agent quarterback discussions, the names of Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, and Russell Wilson have dominated headlines since the conclusion of the previous season. The former New York Jets GM expressed a preference for Fields over Cousins when considering options for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nevertheless, the Steelers ultimately opted to pursue Wilson.

While speculation swirls regarding potential successors to Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Cousins himself has made waves by embarking on a new chapter with the Atlanta Falcons. 

Falcons set to sign Kirk Cousins

The Falcons are making a confident decision to strengthen their quarterback position by signing Kirk Cousins in a substantial deal to begin NFL free agency in 2024. The ex-Minnesota Vikings quarterback has accepted a substantial four-year deal valued at $180 million.

This significant signing sees Cousins entering the ranks of the NFL’s top-paid quarterbacks, tying for the seventh-highest salary with Kansas City Chiefs standout Patrick Mahomes. The generous contract features a significant signing bonus of $50 million and a total guarantee of $100 million.

While the exact details of Cousins’ salary cap hit are yet to be disclosed, the Falcons’ management is confident that the investment in the seasoned quarterback will pay dividends on the field. 

The Falcons have decided to pursue the signal-caller because they believe they are just a quarterback away from contention. General manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Raheem Morris believe that Cousins is the final puzzle piece needed to drive the team to new heights and contend at the top level.

Moreover, Cousins’ familiarity with Morris augments synergy in the equation. Having previously worked together during their tenure with the Washington Commanders, the duo shares a history that could facilitate a smooth integration into the Falcons’ offensive scheme.

Looking back at Kirk Cousins’ Vikings career

Kirk Cousins started his career with the Vikings in 2018, following a successful stint with the Washington Football Team, where he played under the franchise tag for two years. Throughout his time in purple and gold, Cousins showcased his prowess as a leader and playmaker on the field. 

He secured a pair of double-digit-win seasons, including a notable 13-4 record in 2022, per Over six seasons, he left an indelible mark on the Vikings’ record books, averaging nearly 3,900 passing yards, 28.5 touchdowns, and a mere 9.2 interceptions per season. 

Thanks to his reliable performance, he climbed to third in franchise history for passing yards and second for passing touchdowns. However, the Vikings only secured the NFC North title once during his time, and their postseason accomplishments were limited to just one playoff win.

Aside from his performance on the field, Cousins showed impressive durability during his time with the Vikings, seldom sitting out games because of injuries. However, things took a turn for the worse during the 2023 season when he sustained an Achilles injury in week eight, forcing him to sit out the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, he shared glimpses of his success on the road to recovery through videos, with promising signs of progress evident in his return to throwing drills.

His path to recovery and his outstanding performance before the injury undoubtedly provided a solid foundation for the Falcons’ decision.

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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