Kirk Cousins’ Reasoning Behind Leaving the Vikings Is Quite Ironic

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This offseason began with a great deal of uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Minnesota Vikings.

After veteran Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in Week 8 of the 2023 season against the Green Bay Packers, nobody knew for certain whether or not he would decide to re-up with the Vikings to remain in Minnesota.

Ultimately, of course, Cousins signed a large contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and a big reason behind that seemed to be the fact that Minnesota wasn’t willing to give him one more long-term, fully guaranteed deal. However, in Albert Breer’s latest article for Sports Illustrated, another portion of Cousins’ reasoning comes to light, and it makes the QB’s decision to leave Minnesota seem quite ironic in hindsight.

The Irony Behind Kirk Cousins’ Decision to the Leave the Vikings

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“I would 100% understand if Kirk Cousins is still stinging a bit from the whole ordeal,” Breer wrote. “Here’s why—a reason he decided to leave Minnesota is because the Vikings were very up front with the 35-year-old about the possibility that, even in the case he stayed, they’d take a quarterback of the future high in the draft. Tying that together with the team’s willingness to guarantee part, but not all, of a second year on another contract, Cousins figured that, if he stayed, there was a good shot that he’d be on the move in 2025.”

So, as a result of Minnesota refusing to back down from the idea of drafting a quarterback in 2024, Cousins decided that his best option was to leave, thus prompting him to sign his massive deal with the Falcons back in March.

That reasoning already seems to have betrayed Cousins, though, because just about six weeks after the quarterback signed his four-year contract, Atlanta decided to select Michael Penix in the draft. Not only did they pick a quarterback, but they used the eighth overall pick in order to bring in the Washington product.

Kirk Cousins
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“It had to be a crappy call to take if you were Cousins, considering the basis of the decision you’d made six weeks earlier. It remains to be seen, of course, if that’ll lead to any sort of early fissure in the player-team relationship there. I think they’ll be able to get past it, because head coach Raheem Morris is a phenomenal relationship guy, and Cousins is an adult. But if there are early bumps in the season, this one will be interesting to watch,” Breer continued.

This selection not only placed immediate quarterback competition in Cousins’ path, but it also prevented Atlanta from bringing aboard more help to support the veteran QB.

Of course, the Falcons boast some incredible talent on the offensive side of the ball because of their recent draft choices, but they could have benefited from the ability to take the first defender off the board. Atlanta ranked 24th in defensive DVOA last season.

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Instead, they decided to take the fourth quarterback off the board, and just weeks after bringing in Cousins, it appears that they are already preparing a plan to replace him. It may end up being smart business by Atlanta, but it certainly isn’t a situation that Cousins foresaw when he signed the contract.

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.