One Prominent Team Apparently Out of Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In one week, Kirk Cousins can call his shot.

One Prominent Team Apparently Out of Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes

It’s really that simple: Cousins faces a binary choice of returning to the Minnesota Vikings, wrapping his arms around continuity, perhaps with a smaller paycheck — or joining the highest bidder, a team like the Atlanta Falcons that is quarterback-starved and hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2017.

Apparently Out of Kirk
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Regarding Cousins’ would-be next NFL employers, though, one team appears to have exited stage left. That’s the New England Patriots, a franchise that seems to need a quarterback, but Jerod Mayo’s club evidently won’t partake in the Cousins sweepstakes.

Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed set the table last week, writing about the Patriots’ quarterback stakes, “The Patriots are still most likely to find their next quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but there are other ways to find their future starter, and the top impending free agents are two intriguing candidates in Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins.”

Just Escape Any
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Later in the article, however, he opined, “The Patriots have not yet shown interest in Cousins, per sources. The Vikings free agent is coming off of a torn Achilles and is likely to sign for even more money than Mayfield.”

Cousins was on pace for 5,000 passing yards, 38 touchdown passes, and 11 interceptions in 2023 before an Achilles rupture ended his season. In fact, some claimed Cousins was playing the best football of his life in the two games preceding the injury.

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.

Accordingly, Cousins will fetch ample interest on the open market next week — assuming the Vikings don’t re-sign him beforehand — possibly catching the attention of the Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, or Denver Broncos.

Per Kyed, though, New England should be considered a longshot in the Cousins Sweepstakes if they’re even remotely intrigued at all. Equipped with the draft’s third overall pick, probably not.

The Athletic’s Dianna Russini took a turn at the Cousins Sweepstakes, tying the Falcons to the process. “Over the next month, I’m keeping an eye on the Falcons. They believe Cousins is the type of player who moves them from a fringe playoff team to a contender. New Atlanta head coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson both have familiarity with Cousins. Knowing this could be a seamless transition for Cousins and the talented young group of players across their roster, I expect the Falcons to compete for the rights to his contract. It makes all the sense in the world,” she wrote.

roadmap from
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

Ergo, with free agency one week away, Vikings fans can classify the Falcons as in the mix for Cousins and New England likely out.

Cousins will turn 36 in August.

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