Falcons, QB Kirk Cousins put $180M agreement in ink

League: NFL

Posted on: 14 Mar, 2024 at 12:57 AM

Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins put pen to paper and celebrated a massive payday, joining the Atlanta Falcons for a fresh start at age 35 on Wednesday as the new NFL league year officially began.

Cousins confirmed earlier Wednesday he was in Atlanta and poised to sign a reported four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed with the all-important, prerequisite team physical to be completed before the contract was finalized.

Apparently all well went because Cousins was formally introduced at a Wednesday night press conference.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be an Atlanta Falcon," Cousins said. "My family and my wife's family have so many ties to Georgia and the great city of Atlanta. We're thrilled to be here.

"I spent six offseasons here training and being in the city so it feels like home."

Cousins said he got married in Roswell, a town located approximately 20 miles to the north of Atlanta.

Cousins is recovering from a torn right Achilles, his plant leg when throwing from the pocket, but said in January he's well down the road to recovery from surgery. His stated expectation is to be on the field during training camp, and he might not have much of an acclimation period in Atlanta's offense.

Coordinator Zac Robinson runs an offshoot of the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay offense and Cousins was on his way to a mastery of a derivative of that scheme last year under McVay disciple Kevin O'Connell with the Vikings.

Another move became official Wednesday for the Falcons. They received the No. 79 pick in the 2024 draft from the Jacksonville Jaguars as final payment in the trade for wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

Atlanta now has four picks in the top 79: 8, 43, 74, 79.

Earlier Wednesday, Cousins wished the Vikings and Minnesota a fond farewell in a video, calling it a "bittersweet day."

But Cousins saw a brighter future with the Falcons when assessed the options.

"There were a lot of conversations in a short amount of time. It goes fast," Cousins said. "In Minnesota, it was trending over the last couple offseason to be somewhat year to year but with Atlanta, this was a place that if I play at the level I expect to play, then I could retire a Falcon. That was something that really excited me and that is the goal."

Cousins steps in for a franchise with three consecutive seven-win seasons, leading to a coaching change from Arthur Smith to Raheem Morris.

Smith tried Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinecke but none stabilized the offense in what became a musical chairs position.

Morris and Cousins are acquaintances from their time crossing over in the Washington organization (2012-14 when Morris was defensive backs coach), where Cousins began his career as a backup to Robert Griffin III.

He spent the past six seasons with the Vikings.

He has thrown for 39,471 yards and 270 touchdowns against 110 interceptions for his career.

--Field Level Media