From the Falcons deal to the draft, it will be a domino effect


And once again, the victory will ripple across the NFL and into a multitude of different franchises, impacting the landscape of contract extensions, trades and the forthcoming draft.
He did it with Washington and found a home with a Vikings franchise that was desperate for a quality starter.
Then he did it again this week, quenching the Falcons’ thirst for a definitive resolution to an ongoing problem at the position.
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)This was a deal that made sense for the player and the team.
While the Falcons and Cousins both come out of Monday as winners, there will be a host of other teams and players impacted, too.
Instead, the opposite happened, with a robust rookie quarterback class available, as well as three other veteran quarterbacks — Cousins, Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson — all potentially on the market.
The Detroit Lions and Jared Goff (plus every other future QB extension)Cousins’ deal with the Falcons is going to weigh on the Goff extension talks.
Not only is Goff younger (29), he has achieved considerably more in the postseason than Cousins.
Cousins’ deal definitely puts a floor in.
Two prominent agents with a history of doing quarterback deals said Monday night that given Cousins’ deal, Goff’s floor should start inside the top-five quarterback deals.

The checkbook Super Bowl was won by Kirk Cousins once more. Again, this win will have repercussions for numerous teams throughout the NFL, affecting trades, contract extensions, and the upcoming draft.

The hidden clause in Cousins’ four-year, $180 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons is $100 million in hard guarantees, which will increase his career earnings to at least $321 million. For the quarterback and his agent Mike McCartney of VaynerSports, who has carved out an incredible run of 11 straight years of fully guaranteed salary, it’s just another victory in a long stretch of victories. By signing a contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, Cousins became the highest-paid player in the NFL. Over that time, he also increased the salary of quarterbacks at the top of the market with a number of fully guaranteed second-tier quarterback contracts.

All of this is in spite of the fact that Cousins has only ever won one playoff game, which has ultimately had less of an impact on negotiations than his willingness to fulfill his contract and select his free agency destination. In Washington, he succeeded in finding a place to call home, eventually joining the Vikings, who were in dire need of a competent starter. Then he did it once more this week, satisfying the Falcons’ desire for a conclusive answer to a persistent issue at the position.

This most recent transaction involved more than just getting another bag. Turning 36 in August, the veteran is actually a very attractive fit for Atlanta, where he will be running the same Sean McVay scheme that he studied under Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota while surrounded by a stacked offensive line.

This week, Kirk Cousins expanded his opulent legend. Image courtesy of Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

For both the team and the player, this was a reasonable deal. More so than the options available to each party, which would have resulted in Cousins accepting less guaranteed money to remain with the Vikings and forced the Falcons to choose between trading for Justin Fields—who is in a very precarious situation with his rookie contract—or settling for a backup rookie quarterback who isn’t one of the “big three” quarterbacks selected in the draft—Caleb Williams of USC, Jayden Daniels of LSU, and Drake Maye of UNC.

With Cousins’ two more years of guaranteed money and an abundance of offensive talent surrounding him, the Falcons now have a seasoned answer at the position.

A plethora of other teams and players will be impacted even though the Falcons and Cousins emerge from Monday’s game victorious. Amidst them…

The Chicago Bears along with Justin Fields.

The general managers that spoke with Yahoo Sports in December seemed to indicate that the trade market for the quarterback for the Bears was never particularly competitive. With the caveat that Fields needed to have a strong 2023 season finale, the ceiling was at best projected as a second-round draft selection. However, the majority of general managers believed that his value would be around third-round money, or even less if enough teams were willing to create a market. The opposite occurred, though, with three other veteran quarterbacks—Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, and Cousins—possibly available in addition to a strong rookie quarterback class. Wilson’s planned signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mayfield’s agreement to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Bucs effectively eliminated two possible trade candidates from consideration.

However, Fields suffered more from Cousins’ relocation to Atlanta. In addition to turning away a team that was interested in him, the Vikings and Bears sharing the same division ultimately negates the advantage of having another starting quarterback in Minnesota. Dealing a starting quarterback within the division is not unheard of, but it is uncommon and could spell disaster for the Bears if Fields becomes a superior starter in Minnesota.

If Fields wants to be traded to a team that is searching for a starter, the number of possible destinations is getting smaller given that reality. One team that could still be in the running for a rookie quarterback in Round 1 is the Las Vegas Raiders, who are expected to sign Gardner Minshew on Monday. The Denver Broncos are another team who might be interested in a first-round rookie.

Both of those outcomes are less likely given the fifth-year option decision that hangs over Fields’ current contract. Fields’ current contract is unlikely to be triggered, leaving him with just one year left on it.

The Vikings, Broncos, and Raiders draft quarterbacks from the “second tier.”.

At the moment, Williams, Daniels, and Maye comprise the elite top tier of the rookie quarterback class, with Michigan’s J. ranking second. D. J. McCarthy, Bo Nix of Oregon, and Michael Penix Jr. of Washington. Any one of those three players could have been available at the No. draft choice number eight overall. Unless the New York Giants select a surprise player at number one, it now looks like there’s a chance none of them make it inside the top 10. A total of 6. That is, of course, assuming one of the teams at No. trades up. Eleven (Vikings), Twelve (Broncos), or Thirteen (Raiders). Only Minshew, a veteran who has demonstrated his ability as a bridge starter, is on the Raiders’ roster among those three. If one quarterback emerges as the best choice after the big three, all three of those teams might be vying for a spot in the second round, which could mean climbing into the top 10.

Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions (as well as any other QB extension in the future).

The terms of the cousins’ contract with the Falcons will influence the Goff extension negotiations. In addition to being younger (29), Goff has outperformed Cousins in the postseason by a significant margin. Furthermore, the Lions quarterback’s annual salary of $50 million, which was previously uncertain, is now practically guaranteed.

Trevor Lawrence and Dak Prescott are two players whose extensions may very well be records, so they are less likely to be affected. However, as of right now, Goff was not regarded as belonging to that group.

Detroit’s playoff run to the NFC title game may have already altered his salary floor. A floor is undoubtedly put in by the cousins’ deal.

Given Cousins’ contract, according to two well-known agents with experience in quarterback deals, Goff’s floor should start among the top five quarterback deals, they said on Monday night. If Goff doesn’t give the Lions a discount, his average salary floor could be in the neighborhood of $52 million if Lawrence and Prescott close their deals first and reset the market.

Leave a Reply

scroll to top