3 Best Landing Spots for Kirk Cousins

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic

Last season, Kirk Cousins was en route to a career year for the Minnesota Vikings.

Of course, that was prior to Week 8 -- wherein Cousins ruptured his right Achilles tendon on a non-contact play at the Green Bay Packers. Fast-forward to the present, and the veteran quarterback seems to be healing up nicely.

Cousins -- who is heading into free agency -- has now played a dozen NFL seasons, splitting his time between Minnesota and the Washington Commanders. The Michigan State Spartans alum has proven to be a quality signal-caller over that stretch despite lacking any playoff success.

As with most seasons, there are currently numerous franchises in search of a quality NFL quarterback. Considering Cousins is a lifetime 66.9% passer behind a 270-to-110 TD-to-INT ratio, many teams will surely come'a knockin'.

Before free agency officially starts, let us dive into the three possible landing spots for Cousins in 2024.

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Kirk Cousins Potential Landing Spots

Minnesota Vikings

Cousins and the Vikings have had a solid run together. Through six campaigns, "Captain Kirk" has shelled out three separate Pro Bowl seasons. Additionally, Cousins has compiled the NFL's fourth-highest passing yardage total through that span (23,265 yards). If this is really it for him in the Twin Cities, the memories will be mostly positive (considering Minnesota has never won a Super Bowl).

Following Cousins' injury last season, the Vikings attempted myriad solutions at signal-caller. Quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens each showed flashes of prowess in relief work, but ultimately, the Vikes played to a 3-6 record after Cousins went down.

For 2024, Minnesota currently shows only two quarterbacks under contract: Mullens and Jaren Hall. Considering the Vikings employ a slew of talented pass catchers -- Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson -- you'd like a bit more from the signal-caller spot.

Going forward, the Vikes are working with approximately $41.1 million worth of cap space, per Spotrac. That is well above the current league average. If Minnesota is looking to compete now, standing pat and paying Captain Kirk might be the best option.

Prior to making any moves, the Vikings yield 45-to-1 odds to win it all next season, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's Super Bowl odds. I imagine that number will deflate if Cousins decides to keep playing his home games in Minneapolis.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons are another team loaded with offensive skill players. Additionally, Atlanta's defense ranked 11th in yards allowed last year. Seemingly, the Falcons are one of those sides that appear "just a quarterback away" from putting it all together.

In 2023, Atlanta went back and forth between signal-callers Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke numerous times. Ultimately, the offensive results were poor, as the "Dirty Birds" scored just 18.9 PPG in a campaign ago. It all translated to the team's third consecutive 7-10 record under Arthur Smith, who was subsequently fired.

Returning to Atlanta to take over head-coaching duties is Raheem Morris. From 2015 to 2020, Morris held various positions within the Falcons' coaching ranks, including interim head coach following the 2020 firing of Dan Quinn. This time around, there is no "interim" tag -- Morris has the job completely.

One can absolutely imagine Cousins thriving indoors at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. With young talent like Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson on hand in Georgia's capital city, the potential for major offensive numbers is there.

For 2024, the Falcons are working with $41.6 million of cap space, which is slightly more than Minnesota. Additionally, Cousins' wife of nine-plus years -- Julie -- is a native of Fulton County, Georgia, having grown up less than 30 miles north of Atlanta.

One final note: the Falcons are already the favorite to win their division, listed at +140 odds to win the NFC South.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders are currently at a peculiar crossroads. Along with moving on from the Josh McDaniels/Jimmy Garoppolo regime, head coach Antonio Pierce will need to figure out a definitive direction to go in at quarterback.

As it is now, the forecast presents Raider Nation a choice of three doors. Behind one door, Vegas could select a high-profile signal-caller in the approaching 2024 NFL Draft, although their No. 13 pick might be a bit low for that. Behind door number two, the Raiders double down on Aidan O'Connell (62.1% completion clip as a rookie). Of course, beyond the third door, Las Vegas either signs or trades for a proven veteran quarterback -- could Cousins be that guy in "Sin City"?

Star running back Josh Jacobs is also heading into free agency, but the Raiders still have some key pieces in crucial roles for 2024. Wide receiver Davante Adams and edge rusher Maxx Crosby are undoubtedly two of the NFL's best players. Also, young tight end Michael Mayer was making positive strides to end last year, catching 15 total passes and two touchdowns over his last five starts.

Outside of the Xs and Os, there are many reasons Cousins could be keen on playing in Southern Nevada. Whether for future business ventures or relief of state income taxes, signing a multi-million dollar deal in the "Silver State" certainly has its perks -- just ask Jimmy G.

At numberFire, the Raiders (-1.83 nERD) chime in at 20th overall in the power rankings. Ironically enough, that is exactly one spot behind aforementioned Atlanta (-1.78 nERD). Vegas has nearly $48 million in available cap space and could be in play for this offseason's top free agents, including star DT Chris Jones.

As things stand, the Raiders show +1200 odds to win the AFC West.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.