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Could Kirk Cousins still wind up at Atlanta despite the Falcons passing on Belichick?

The Falcons passed on hiring Bill Belichick instead hiring Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris

All that chatter over the last month speculating about a Kirk Cousins-Bill Belichick team-up in Atlanta came to crashing halt Thursday afternoon as the Falcons hired someone not named Belichick as their head coach: former Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. 

So where does that leave Atlanta as a possible landing spot for Cousins, who is due to become a free agent on March 13?

It doesn't take them out of the running and depending on who they pick to be the new OC, they could remain one of the favorites to sign Cousins, according to Purple Insider's Matthew Coller.

"The biggest thing to watch will be who Morris hires as his offensive coordinator," Coller told Bring Me The Sports Thursday. "If Rams QB coach Zac Robinson follows Morris, that could play in Atlanta's favor if they want Cousins. Robinson, like Kevin O'Connell, is a former NFL QB from the McVay tree. It would be a very similar offense to what he's been working with over the last two years."

Cousins has been very successful in a McVay-style offense over the last two years, throwing for 6,878 yards, 47 touchdowns and 19 interceptions while leading the Vikings to a 17-8 record in 25 games before an Achilles injury ended his 2023 season in Week 8. 

While the Raiders may be some bookmakers' early favorites, Atlanta isn't far behind and it's not hard to see why.

Atlanta have just under $26 million in cap space according to Over the Cap and what looks like a young team that's a quarterback away. The Falcons were just outside of a top-10 defense (15th in points allowed, 11th in yards allowed in 2023) with PFF grading Atlanta as the 11th best defense. Atlanta were also tied with the Ravens for the third highest pass block grade at 74.2, behind only the Eagles (77.0) and the Vikings (74.4).

With young offensive weapons in Bijan Robinson (21), Drake London (22), Tyler Allgeier (23) and Kyle Pitts (23), and a weak NFC South at play, Atlanta are perfectly set up for a veteran QB to guide the ship.

Kirk Cousins

Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) shake hands after a game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

There's also the well noted familial connections for Cousins, whose wife Julia is from the Atlanta area, with the pair getting married in Atlanta ten years ago.

While a return to Minnesota is still a possibility, Cousins is keeping his options open.

In a recent guest appearance on the Stacking the Box Podcast, Cousins and host Iain MacMillan were discussing the QBs impending free agency with Kirk responding: "It's a process I've been through before and we'll be going through it again in a few weeks."

MacMillan pitched Cousins on Atlanta touting the defense, young playmakers and familial connections to which Cousins responded, "As pitches go that's as good as I've heard in a long time."