NFC South team a dark horse to trade for Kirk Cousins this season

Could the Atlanta Falcons end up trading for Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins this season?
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since an Achilles injury knocked Aaron Rodgers out for the remainder of the 2023 season, the New York Jets have been the team that many continue to bring up when talking about possible trade destinations for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, if there is a team that actually trades for Cousins this year, it's the Atlanta Falcons, and not the Jets, that could be one of the most logical landing spots for the veteran quarterback.

Currently, the Falcons are 2-1, and they're in a wide-open NFC South. Arthur Smith is in his third season as the head coach of Atlanta, and after the team didn't finish with a winning record in either of his first two seasons with the franchise, the pressure is on for him to lead the Falcons to the playoffs this year.

Starting under center for Atlanta right now is second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. In three games this season, Ridder has completed 62.5 percent of his passes, he's only thrown for two touchdowns, and he's averaging less than 200 passing yards per matchup.

On Sunday, the Falcons suffered their first loss of the season when the Detroit Lions handed them a 20-6 defeat. In the game, Ridder only threw for 201 yards, he didn't throw any touchdowns, and he was sacked seven times.

Over the next few weeks, if he continues to struggle and Atlanta is still in contention to win this season's NFC South title, it wouldn't be shocking if they looked to make a quarterback change.

Given how important this season is for Smith in terms of his future with the Falcons, he might be more willing to convince the team to make a major splash at the quarterback position instead of just turning to the team's current backup, Taylor Heinicke.

If Atlanta ends up wanting to make a trade for a new signal-caller before this year's deadline on October 31st, Cousins could be the guy they target.

Unlike the Jets, the Falcons have the draft capital to acquire the Vikings quarterback, as they currently have selections in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.

In terms of a fit for Atlanta's offense, Smith is the same guy who resurrected Ryan Tannehill's career when the two were members of the Tennessee Titans. If the Falcons were able to land Cousins in a trade, one would assume that Smith would essentially use him in a similar way to how he did with Tannehill in Tennessee.


Atlanta might also be one of the few places that Cousins would waive his no-trade clause for. He has multiple connections to the city, including his wife Julie, who was born and raised about 30 minutes away from Atlanta. Cousins' family is very important to him, so playing for a team from where his wife grew up might be intriguing to him.

So if Minnesota continues to struggle during the next few weeks and Ridder isn't cutting it as the Falcons' starting quarterback, don't rule out the possibility of Atlanta making an attempt to acquire Cousins in a mid-season trade with the Vikings.

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