NFL insider shares thoughts on possible Kirk Cousins trade in 2025

Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins
Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is getting ready for his first season with the Atlanta Falcons. But in the mind of one NFL insider, Cousins's tenure in Atlanta could last just one season.

Despite signing a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons in free agency last spring, ESPN’s Dan Graziano recently shared why he believes that it’s “not an overreaction” that Cousins could be traded after the 2024 season.

“Could the Falcons trade him after one year? The short answer is yes, though it wouldn’t be the cleanest move ever. Cousins is guaranteed $27.5 million for 2025 and he has a $10 million 2026 roster bonus that becomes fully guaranteed at the start of the 2025 league year this coming March.

So any acquiring team would be on the hook for $37.5 million – more than reasonable for a good starting quarterback in 2025."

With Michael Penix Jr. waiting in the wings, Atlanta could look to accelerate their quarterback of the future – even if it requires some financial gymnastics.

Will former Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins remain with the Atlanta Falcons for more than one season?

Cousins’s future in Minnesota was a hot topic last season and lingered as he suffered a torn Achilles last October. While the Vikings made an attempt to bring Cousins back this offseason, they also wanted to start planning for the future, and the situation became “year-to-year” according to Cousins at his introductory press conference with Atlanta.

With his mind set on retiring as a Falcon, Cousins signed his mega-deal which includes $90 million in fully guaranteed money. But the Falcons stunned everyone, including Cousins, when they selected Penix with the eighth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft earlier this year.

With Penix entering his rookie season at 24 years old, he’s a more pro-ready prospect than 21-year-old J.J. McCarthy who was selected by the Vikings two picks later to replace Cousins.

This could put pressure on Cousins to perform next season or find himself on the trade market but Cousins didn’t seem too concerned about it when speaking to the media in May.

“I don’t really deal in hypotheticals. We could go down that path for a long time, in a lot of ways. It just doesn’t do us any good. So I’m excited for this opportunity that I have. I think it’s a real privilege to be a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and I’m trying to make good on the opportunity given me, with the way I work each day and the way we play this fall.”

At this point, Cousins’s tenure with the Falcons could go two ways. Will he be like Aaron Rodgers, who held off Jordan Love by leading the Green Bay Packers to back-to-back 13-win seasons in 2020 and 2021? Or could he wind up like Russell Wilson, who signed a five-year, $242.6 million contract with the Denver Broncos in 2023 but was released after just two seasons in Denver?

Both are interesting storylines heading into this season but most Vikings fans are probably just glad they’ll be watching it from afar.

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