Batten Down the Hatches: Kirk Cousins Rumors Get a Jolt as QB Talks Joining Legendary Coach

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
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Yet again, Kirk Cousins finds himself in the news due to a rumor about where he could take his services for 2024 (and beyond).

He took some time to chat with Isabel Gonzalez of CBS Sports. The clip she shares to her social media includes a question about his desire to play for Bill Belichick, who looks like a leading candidate to land the top job in Atlanta: “I’m not going to turn down an opportunity to play with a future Hall of Fame coach. But we’ll have to see where March leads, it’s just a lot of unknowns right now.”

Kirk Cousins and the Rumors That Won’t Stop

Pay attention to what he is and isn’t saying.

Cousins is not saying that he’s destined to play with Belichick. A deal with the coach’s new team – Atlanta or otherwise – isn’t imminent. The QB was speaking in a hypothetical manner when asked a direct question about working alongside the legendary coach.

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

Nevertheless, people have reacted to what he had to say.

On Vikings Territory, Dustin Baker shared these thoughts: “If the Belichick hire materializes, there’s a decent chance that he’ll want to ‘win now’ — Belichick isn’t young and could have an expedited plan in Atlanta at QB1 accordingly — possibly disregarding the rookie quarterback alternative. Cousins is set to become the NFL’s top free-agent quarterback if he doesn’t reunite with the Vikings, and voila, the world has a connection between Cousins and the Falcons.”

Santana Moss and Bryant McKinnie Chat Commanders-Vikings
Oct 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk jumped into the action: “It’s also unknown where Cousins wants to live. As Peter King mentioned on PFT Live, Cousins’s wife is from Alpharetta, Georgia — and her parents still live there. That becomes a very powerful magnet, especially in combination with the attraction of playing for Belichick.”

Florio continues: “As long as Matt Patricia and Joe Judge aren’t running the offense in Atlanta. And as long as Cousins doesn’t plan on telling Belichick that the quarterback won’t be working on Tuesdays.”

Plus, there’s an added bit of context for the Belichick and Cousins speculation. On January 9th, Cousins sent this tweet into the internet:

Again, pay attention to what he’s actually saying. The Vikings’ QB1 is offering his respect for Tom Brady, noting that having a teammates want to “play for” a quarterback is a major compliment. He’s right. Danny Amendola’s words are a strong endorsement of who Brady was as a leader.

Vikings WR Coach Is in the Running to Be Bill Belichick's Next OC
Jan 8, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines in the second quarter game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

One has to assume, though, that Cousins would like to be mentioned in the same conversation as Tom Brady. Being the kind of quarterback who inspires his teammates to jump into battle is one way of doing so. Winning a Super Bowl (or two) is another way.

Until heading down to Tampa Bay, Brady did all of his Super Bowl winning alongside Bill Belichick, who is widely considered to be among the greatest head coaches of all time.

What is Kevin O’Connell thinking when he sees Cousins discuss his desire to play for Belichick (who, coincidentally, drafted O’Connell back in 2008 to play quarterback for the Patriots)? The next interaction between O’Connell and Cousins could be a bit odd.

The only way for the Kirk Cousins theories to stop is for an extension to be reached. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said that his desire is to bring the QB back to town and Cousins has always been outspoken about wanting to stick around Minnesota, but he also understands that there isn’t a guarantee he’ll be able to return. The two sides need to come to a deal that works for all parties.

Before tearing his Achilles, Cousins was putting together a fantastic season. He was up to completing 69.5% of his passes for 2,331 yards, 18 TDs, and 5 INTs. He is hoping to ready in time for OTAs.

Minnesota is currently projected to have roughly $26.3 million in cap space.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.