Kirk Cousins shares how much it would have cost to wear No. 8 for the Falcons

Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins
Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins / David Berding/GettyImages

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is switching to No. 18 after signing with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, but many people weren’t sure of the reason why he decided to switch jersey numbers. 

Recently, Cousins revealed on "The Big Podcast with Shaq" that switching numbers would have cost him “several hundred thousand [dollars]” due to a current NFL policy.

“[Kyle Pitts] wanted to switch numbers anyways, so it was like a perfect fit. He’s like, ‘I want to switch numbers. You want No. 8. This is perfect.’ And then the league spoke into it. They said, ‘Well, Kyle Pitts has a lot of jerseys that are No. 8 with Pitts on the back. You would have to buy every single one.

...Both of us would just have to write the check. So I was like, ‘I’m good with No. 18.’ and Kyle was like, ‘I’m good with No. 8.’”

Former Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins decides to keep his money and wear the No. 18 for the Atlanta Falcons

Cousins’s situation is nothing new as players have run into this problem while switching numbers. 

Dalvin Cook wore No. 33 for the first four years of his career with the Vikings before the league allowed skill position players to wear single digits prior to the 2021 season. While Cook wanted to switch to No. 4 immediately, doing so would have required him to buy out an estimated $1.2 million in merchandise, which forced Cook to play one more season with the No. 33 and make the number change for the 2022 season.

“I’d been trying to do it last year, but they tried to take my money from me,” Cook said in 2022, “That’s important nowadays.”

It’s a big reason why Cousins will wear the third different jersey number of his career. He wore No. 12 and No. 8 with the Washington Commanders before wearing No. 8 during all six seasons with the Vikings.

When asked what it would take for Cousins to get his No. 8 earlier this year, Pitts responded, “I just want targets every game,” leading some to speculate that he wouldn’t be getting the ball from Cousins once he made the switch to No. 18.

With a new four-year, $180 million contract, some may believe that Cousins should have just footed the bill to keep his number. But for someone who still drives an Explorer van and currently lives in his in-law's basement, it’s not surprising to find out Cousins didn't want to open his checkbook.

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