New Falcons HC Could Be More Likely to Lure Kirk Cousins Than Bill Belichick

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The Minnesota Vikings’ offseason plan fundamentally starts with Kirk Cousins. The 35-year-old is scheduled to hit free agency, and if the Vikings don’t extend him, they’ll need a fresh QB1 plan for the first time in seven years.

New Falcons HC Could Be More Likely to Lure Kirk Cousins Than Bill Belichick

Otherwise, Minnesota could re-sign Cousins and then decide if it wants to draft a rookie quarterback in April. The club has options.

New Falcons HC
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But if the Vikings do not wish to meet Cousins’ asking price — it could be as high as $45 million guaranteed per season — he’ll take his services elsewhere. And as of late, inside the rumor mill, the top non-Vikings destination has landed on the Atlanta Falcons.

CBS Sports’ Isabel Gonzalez asked Cousins a week and a half ago if he’d play for Bill Belichick, and his answer was surprisingly straightforward. “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, there’s just a lot of unknowns right now,” Cousins replied.

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Belichick, at least for a week, was the odds-on favorite to become the Falcons’ next coach. At what seemed like the last minute, however, Atlanta hired Raheem Morris for the top job, and he’ll take on full head coaching duties in 2024 and beyond.

So, here’s the deal: While Cousins outwardly expressed the desire to play for Belichick, Morris actually has tangible ties to Cousins. Morris was a defensive backs coach for the Washington Commanders from 2012 to 2014 — also known as Cousins’ first three seasons in the NFL.

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Arguably, more than Belichick, Morris knows Cousins, and Cousins knows Morris, assuming the two had a standard coach-player relationship in Washington. Former player and coach ties matter in sports, so Cousins exploring the Falcons and vice versa in free agency wouldn’t be weird at all.

Too, Cousins would fit wonderfully in Atlanta. The Falcons possess offensive weapons itching for full deployment, a tactic inexplicably held back by former head coach Arthur Smith. Put simply, Cousins could feed Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, and Drake London all day on Sundays — every Sunday. Some considered it a crime, mainly fantasy football managers, for Smith to blatantly ignore his playmakers as a habit.

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Don’t let Belichick’s exclusion from the Falcons job discourage the Cousins-to-Atlanta theory. It might even be more realistic with Morris in charge.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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