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Falcons sign quarterback Kirk Cousins

The veteran quarterback has reportedly signed on to a four-year deal worth up to $180 million. 

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The move the NFL world has been talking about the last two days has finally become official: The Falcons signed quarterback Kirk Cousins, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon when the new league year began.

The Athletic's Diana Russini was one of the first to report the news on Monday afternoon when the legal tampering window officially opened, allowing impending free agents to negotiate with other teams. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Cousins' contract is a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed. The payout is reportedly set at Cousins receiving $90 million in 2024-25, plus another $10 million in 2026.

At 35 years old, Cousins joins the Falcons after 12 seasons of work in the professional ranks. Drafted by the Washington Commanders (Redskins at the time) in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Cousins spent six seasons with Washington before spending his most recent six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Over the course of his career, Cousins was selected to four Pro Bowls and holds an overall record of 76-67-2 as a starting quarterback with a completion percentage at 66.9% with more than 3,400 career completions.

Cousins is coming off a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture that he sustained in the Vikings' Week 8 game against the Green Bay Packers in October 2023.

The move to sign Cousins indicates an aggression general manager Terry Fontenot and new head coach Raheem Morris foretold they'd enact when searching for a starting quarterback in 2024. That aggression showed up in one of the biggest free agency moves the Falcons organization has made, not just in the Fontenot era but in much of the organization's recent history.

At this point in time, Cousins joins a quarterback room that includes Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. Ridder is still on his rookie deal after being drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, while Heinicke is on the second year of a two-year deal worth $14 million.

Important information to consider is that if the Falcons were to cut Heinicke before June 1, they would save $7.06 million toward the salary cap while carrying a dead money hit of $2 million, according to In the same scenario based on OTC projections, Ridder's contract would only yield $922,458 by way of cap savings in 2024 and $1.4 million in cap savings in 2025. These two individual contracts (and others) are likely to be further examined in the coming weeks and months with the Falcons creating more cap space to account for the large percentage now accumulated by Cousins' deal.

The Falcons needed stability, consistency and reliability at the quarterback position in 2024. With Cousins on the roster, Atlanta takes steps in that direction as the new league year begins.

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