New Cousins

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

The Atlanta Falcons signed veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The deal is worth up to $180 million with $100 million guaranteed.

I’m not a fan of this move at all. Cousins will turn 36 in August. He also tore his Achilles in late October. It typically takes one year to recover from that so he should miss at least the first few games of the season.

Cousins was a priority after a few free agent QB’s came off the market.

Tampa Bay re-signed quarterback Baker Mayfield to a three-year, $100-million deal and the Steelers agreed to a one-year, $1.21 million deal with nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson.

Also, quarterback Mac Jones was traded by the Patriots to the Jaguars as the league’s official legal-tampering period is set to start at noon on Monday.

Prior to his injury, Cousins was playing well. Through seven weeks, he led the NFL in touchdown passes while ranking second in passing yards and fourth in passer rating.

The Falcons stated that they had a “Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D” when it came to upgrading the quarterback position.

Many experts thought the most obvious move was to trade with Chicago and acquire Justin Fields. Fields is a Georgia native who played at UGA and Ohio State.

Atlanta cannot comment specifically about the quarterbacks on the roster due to the league’s tampering rules.

“But it’s really exciting with the quarterback group that’s out there, that we have the ability to acquire,” Falcons coach Raheem Morris said recently. “That is what our fan base, that’s what makes our front office, what makes our coaches all excited to be able to talk in our (meeting) rooms about those people.”

The Falcons have stated they plan to upgrade the position after Desmond Ridder underperformed last season. He finished with 12 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and 12 fumbles (including seven lost fumbles) and he was benched twice in favor of Taylor Heinicke.

Morris stated the obvious at the combine.

“If we had better quarterback play last year in Atlanta, I might not be standing here,” said Morris, who was hired to replace Arthur Smith after he was fired.

The Falcons kept a watchful eye on negotiations between the Vikings and Cousins. The Falcons have enough salary cap space to make a worthy offer. The Falcons are currently $41.1 million under the salary cap.

Cousins has been to the Pro Bowl four times. He is known for having decent stats but not producing in prime-time games or the playoffs. He’s been in the NFL since 2012 so I think that is who he truly is as a player. They did upgrade at the position but they will never be real contenders with this move.

The Falcons hired Zac Robinson as their new offensive coordinator. He was the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the LA Rams (2022-23) before this. This will be his first season as a coordinator so I do not think we truly know what to expect from the offense.

They do have weapons like running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts.