Kirk Cousins to Atlanta? Yet Another Report Claims It Could Be True

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free agency officially gets started in eight days, and by the time 4 PM ET on March 13th arrives, Kirk Cousins’ contract with the Minnesota Vikings will have voided.

If Cousins and the Vikings are unable to agree to a contract extension before then, the veteran QB will officially hit the free agent market for the first time since he signed with the team back in 2018. As a result, the $28.5 million in dead money will officially hit the books for the Vikings as well.

Should that happen, it will become increasingly more likely that Cousins leaves the Vikings for a new team. Where would he go, though? A popular landing spot for the quarterback if he were to leave Minnesota is none other than the Atlanta Falcons, and another report this week seems to suggest that things are trending in that direction.

Kirk Cousins to Atlanta?

Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports wrote on Monday, “We can’t get into the specifics, for now. But we’re getting very credible indications that Cousins is seriously considering moving his family to Atlanta. Which would mean, obviously, that he’d be signing with the Falcons. The Falcons have always been the top alternative to the Vikings for Cousins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next Wednesday. And for good reason. His wife, Julie, grew up in nearby Alpharetta, Georgia. Her parents still live there.”

Atlanta has gone through the past few seasons struggling to find consistent play at the QB position, but they have solidified multiple stars at skill positions that should make the job easier on whichever quarterback they bring in for 2024.

During the 2023 season, the Falcons saw Taylor Heinicke and Desmond Ridder split time as the starting quarterback. Ridder made 13 starts for Atlanta while Heinicke started four games. Combined, the duo of QBs threw for 3726 yards, 17 TDs, and 16 INTs.

Jan 8, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (4) scrambles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Cousins/Falcons rumors aren’t particularly new at this point. As Florio mentions, he has family ties to the city of Atlanta, and the Falcons are looking to get more innovative on the offensive side of the ball after hiring Zac Robinson to be their offensive coordinator following five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams under Cousins’ former OC in Washington, Sean McVay.

Cousins is set to enter free agency next week (unless he and the Vikings agree to a new contract extension before March 13th arrives).

The reasons behind allowing Cousins to walk are two-fold. Firstly, the Vikings have plenty of other contracts to worry about this offseason, including those for Danielle Hunter and Justin Jefferson. If the two sides are simply too far apart financially and in terms of contract structure, the Vikings may see letting the 36-year-old go after he suffered an Achilles injury last season.

Then, the Vikings also need to look for their franchise’s “QB of the future” at some point in the near future. This year’s draft class is loaded with talent, and Minnesota holds the 11th overall pick, placing them in great position to either sit and pick one or even trade up into the top 10.

Kirk Cousins
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at Atlanta’s salary cap situation, they currently have about $25.8 million in salary cap space, so they likely need to free up some money to bring Cousins into the fold. However, they have multiple ways to do exactly that. According to Over the Cap, the Falcons can free up over $21 million by restructuring the current contracts of Grady Jarrett, Jake Matthews, and Kaleb McGary.

Atlanta also holds the eighth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, so they certainly could look to draft a quarterback like J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, or Michael Penix in that spot. Especially if they went in the McCarthy route, they could afford to bring in Cousins while allowing McCarthy to learn Robinson’s offense for a year or two considering the Michigan QB is only 21 years old.

Regardless, it appears that Atlanta could be at the top of the list for Cousins if the veteran decides to leave Minnesota this spring.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference. Contractual information was found via Over the Cap.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.