Monday, April 22, 2024
HomesportKirk Cousins, Falcons have chance to rewrite their narratives together

Kirk Cousins, Falcons have chance to rewrite their narratives together


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — This won’t trauma you, however Kirk Cousins takes nation holidays to Disney Global. Cousins — some of the league’s maximum statistically fertile quarterbacks, and till Wednesday considered one of its most prized free agents — was once at Disney’s Epcot, in order for the Guardians of the Galaxy curler coaster. A textual content from an unfamiliar quantity got here thru, and Cousins learn it, understanding precisely what it intended.

What’s up Kirko, that is Kyle Pitts, Cousins recalled the textual content from the Falcons’ tight finish studying. We’re in a position so that you can rush us to the promised land.

That recruitment, blended with Cousins’ longtime familiarity with Atlanta — and $100 million in assured cash — was once plethora to get the longtime Vikings quarterback to shed Minnesota for a unused alternative at what he hopes might be his ultimate NFL restrain.

“In Minnesota in the last couple of offseasons, it was trending somewhat toward being year to year, and as we talked to Atlanta, it felt like this was a place that if I play to the level I expect to play, I can retire a Falcon,” Cousins mentioned at his introductory information convention Wednesday night. “That was something that really excited me, and that’s the goal. You have to earn the right to do that, but it was exciting to feel like I had the opportunity to do that here.”

As an Atlanta Falcon, Kirk Cousins has a whole lot of franchise history weighing on his shoulders. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)As an Atlanta Falcon, Kirk Cousins has a whole lot of franchise history weighing on his shoulders. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Set aside — for now — the query of whether or not Pitts was once violating the NFL’s tampering regulations. (If he began the recruiting on his personal, deny illness. If he did it at the recommendation of, or with the information of, the Falcons, illness.) Cousins and the Falcons are actually connected by means of a nine-figure commitment, and each crew and participant have a wide-open alternative to modify the narrative that looms over them.

“When the owner, general manager, head coach and quarterback are on the same page, that’s when you really have a chance to go win a Super Bowl,” Cousins mentioned. “As I looked at the Atlanta Falcons, I believed strongly that the owner [Arthur Blank], general manager [Terry Fontenot], head coach [Raheem Morris] and quarterback can all be on the same page. That’s exciting for me and why I’m thrilled to be here.”

Let the document display that at his first professional look as an Atlanta Falcon, Cousins didn’t flash any chains. This present day, he’s were given one thing a complete batch heavier round his neck: the duty for remaking the popularity of a whole NFL franchise. It’s a problem Cousins is embracing.

“Quarterbacks will always be evaluated not just from September to December, but for January and February,” he mentioned. “That’s where you want to get to. And once you get there, you want to have meaningful wins.”

Cousins — who become well-known in Minnesota for his incongruous shirtless, jewelry-laden dances— provides all of the Atlanta group a shot of hope, a confirmed commodity at quarterback for a franchise and a fan bottom that has simply persevered 3 immediately sub-mediocre 7-10 seasons.

Having a look like a cleaned-up Bradley Cooper, Cousins — wearing no longer only a blouse, however a Falcon-red attach and a well-dressed ash-gray go well with — provides Atlanta speedy credibility at quarterback. He’s a four-time Professional Bowler who ranks 5th amongst lively QBs (and twenty fourth all-time) in passing yardage. Maximum particularly for the Falcons, who tend to give up past due leads, Cousins stocks, with Matthew Stafford, the NFL’s all-time document for game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks (8 for each) in a season.

Cousins arrives at a an important year for a Falcons group determined for on-field management. Extreme 12 months, the crew threw second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder into the fireplace, and he melted ill in impressive, season-tanking type. Neatly-traveled Taylor Heinicke couldn’t restrain the bleeding both. Atlanta let a winnable category slip out of its clutch and squandered a 12 months’s usefulness of top ability on offense.

That ability — together with Pitts, receiver Drake London, and the hammer-and-lightning backfield of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier — returns this season, at the side of newcomer Darnell Mooney, giving Cousins really extensive guns proper from the bounce. The category extra winnable, as Tampa Bay rides a Baker Mayfield sizzling streak, New Orleans remains one step forward of the wage cap with Derek Carr, and Carolina begins once more with Bryce Young.

The important thing query is how a lot Cousins, who turns 36 in August, nonetheless has to do business in, and that comes ill to 2 key components: the energy of his surgically repaired Achilles tendon and the hour on his beginning certificates. Cousins famous that the surgical treatment to fix the shock that ended his season terminating 12 months was once his first as a certified, and he expressed optimism about his analysis.

“I am optimistic that I can be full speed at practice before we break for the summer, and that’s kind of the goal I have set for myself,” he mentioned. “I can take drops. I can play the quarterback position throwing the football. The minute I would have to leave the pocket is where you would say, ‘Yeah, he’s still recovering from an Achilles,’ but taking drops and making throws is no problem at this point.”

Cousins is likely one of the oldest quarterbacks within the league. He’s 5 years used than Matt Ryan was once when Ryan led Atlanta to the Tremendous Bowl within the 2016 season, the franchise’s terminating actual top mark. Cousins may be 9 years used than Lamar Jackson, whom the Falcons opted to not pursue terminating 12 months on account of shock issues … simplest to look at Jackson win the MVP.

For the reason that that is the Falcons, and that is Cousins, two entities with a considerable document of underachievement, there’s explanation why for skepticism. For the reason that 2017 season, the Falcons have no longer even been to the playoffs; Cousins has been simplest two times, and gained a unmarried duel, his simplest postseason victory. His prime-time document: a cringeworthy 12-19. (The jokes incrible themselves: Cousins’ extreme document in prime-time video games isn’t a illness, the Falcons by no means play games in top year.)

Nonetheless, Atlanta is entering the season with extra hope and word of honour than it’s had in years. That is the most productive lifelike quarterback condition for the Falcons, and a large alternative for Cousins. The street is large i’m free for either one of them, and now each quarterback and crew have to look it thru the entire technique to the tip.





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