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Could Kirk Cousins team up with Bill Belichick in Atlanta?

Will Belichick want an established veteran QB or is he willing to work with a rookie?
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If Bill Belichick is named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, does it increase the chance that Kirk Cousins doesn't re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings?

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the Falcons are set to conduct a second interview with Belichick, who at 71 years old is looking to bounce back with a new team after going 4-13 in his 24th season coaching the Patriots. 

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports expects Belichick to be named Atlanta's new head coach. "Barring a snag in negotiations or a future development (still have to get a signature), I’m expecting Bill Belichick to become the next head coach of the NFC South Atlanta Falcons," she posted on X

The question if Belichick is hired is how he'll handle the quarterback situation. 

Maybe he is willing to develop a young quarterback, perhaps incumbent starter Desmond Ridder or a player the Falcons get in the upcoming NFL Draft. But maybe he's not interested in that route and instead wants an established quarterback to lead his new team. 

If it's the latter, there aren't many names that make sense for the Falcons. 

Cousins? Russell Wilson? Baker Mayfield? Ryan Tannehill? Justin Fields?

Cousins, Mayfield and Tannehill are due to become unrestricted free agents on March 13. Wilson could be released by the Broncos and if the Bears take Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in the draft they'll clearly try to trade Fields. 

Atlanta has the pieces to contend in the NFC South. They went 7-10 with mediocre quarterback play from Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, but they have solid weapons in running backs Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, tight end Kyle Pitts, and receiver Drake London. 

Atlanta also owns the No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft, where they could add one of the top wide receivers to give Belichick and the offense another weapon. 

Back in November, just over two weeks after Cousins ruptured his Achilles tendon in an Oct. 29 game at Lambeau Field, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler speculated that Atlanta makes sense as a future home for Cousins. 

"I've started asking teams about this, and Atlanta comes up fairly often. The Falcons have improved their roster and need a quarterback to bring it all together," Fowler wrote. "Cousins would find comfort in Atlanta's talented roster of playmakers, similar to what he had in Minnesota. The chance to win is there. And though Cousins will be expensive, he is going on his fifth NFL contract (excluding franchise tags from the Washington days) and will turn 36 in August. A team set to have $36 million in cap space in 2024 should be able to handle his potential deal."

Also noteworthy is that Cousins's wife, Julie, is from the Atlanta area and it's where they were married in 2014. 

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.