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Falcons Make Day One Free Agency Splash, Singing Kirk Cousins

If you were hoping to sit back and relax during the NFL free agency period. Well, I apologize as a few NFL front offices dropped bombs on the first day of free agency. It wasn't a "chill" day for Terry Fontenot and the Falcons organization either as Atlanta had one of the major signings of the day, signing QB Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal. The Falcons were one of the teams in the market for a quarterback this offseason after poor performances from Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke a season ago. Atlanta has now found their guy, at least for the next four years, and has a clearer picture going into the draft season.

The question remains, did Atlanta overpay? Well, four years of $180M with $100M guaranteed for a 35-year-old coming off an Achilles injury is a lot of money. However, the Falcons needed an upgrade at quarterback especially how the last two seasons have gone, and with Cousins being the top target during free agency, there's no reason that Atlanta shouldn't have paid him. "Captain Kirk" was arguably the best quarterback available among the free agents, and with being a veteran there had to be an understanding that no matter where Cousins ended up he would've seen a good amount of money. So yes, there is no question the Falcons went a little over budget, but it was a move that needed to be made.

Getting into a little more specifics with Cousins's career. Cousins has played 12 seasons in the NFL, six years in Washington, and six years in Minnesota. Cousins also has had four pro-bowl seasons and also won the Most Improved Player award in 2015. In his whole career Cousins has a record of 76-67-2, and a 1-4 record in the playoffs.

The 35-year-old veteran has thrown for 39,471 yards in his career with a 66.9 completion percentage, Cousins also has thrown 270 touchdown passes (5.2 TD%), compared to 110 interceptions (2.1 INT%). There's no doubt that Cousins has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL, as he has had a positive TD-INT ratio in every season since 2014. Cousins has also at least completed over 65% of his passes since 2018, he also led the league in competition percentage in 2015 at 69.8% and had a 70.1% completion percentage in 2018, a career-high.

To end, there is no guarantee that the Falcons would be able to draft one of the elite QB prospects in this year's draft at the eighth spot. This was the best situation for Atlanta, even over-trading for Justin Fields. The Falcons can now focus on drafting a wide receiver, or an edge in the first round.

It's an obvious concern that Cousins is coming off a major career injury, but being able to have a good veteran quarterback in the locker room to mentor Desmond Ridder, or another young QB prospect is a huge plus and a luxury most teams don't have. Cousins should also fit in very well in the Sean McVay style offense Zac Robinson and Raheem Morris plan to run. Bijan, Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts finally have a quarterback who will be able to elevate their talents. Can't wait to see what Cousins brings to the team and the offense. Welcome to Atlanta, Kirk!


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