QB Kirk Cousins' top free agency landing spots

2T1TB2M Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins throws during warmups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

• Kirk Cousins is the top free-agent quarterback: Cousins comes in at No. 2 overall on PFF's free agency big board.

• A stretch of elite play: Since Week 12 of the 2022 season, Cousins has earned a 90.1 PFF grade, which ranks fifth — behind only Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow.

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Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The next big event on the NFL calendar is the start of free agency in a couple of weeks. As always, multiple intriguing names are set to hit free agency — and perhaps none bigger than Kirk Cousins.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback is expected to be highly coveted, so let's take a look at the three best landing spots for the veteran.

Click here to view Kirk Cousins' contract projection in PFF's Free Agency Tool.

Atlanta Falcons

It's no surprise the Falcons frequently crop up in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes discussions, given their roster outlook.

Atlanta has multiple skill-position players who have yet to reach their ceilings and whose potential could be unlocked by Cousins. However, Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts and Drake London playing for the Falcons might not even be the biggest reason why Cousins could sign with Atlanta. It’s the offensive line.

Atlanta’s offensive line ranked second in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency metric in 2023, with an 87.4 rating. Since Cousins signed with the Vikings in 2018, Minnesota’s offensive line finished in the top 20 in that measure just twice, and their highest ranking was No. 17 in 2023.

Offensive line play is important for all quarterbacks, but especially Cousins. Over the past five seasons, he has recorded a 107.3 passer rating when kept clean, which ranks third among 34 qualifying quarterbacks. His 95.8 PFF passing grade when he is not under pressure is tied with Aaron Rodgers for the highest mark in the league over that period.

Miami Dolphins

Although head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense has shown potential in both of his seasons at the helm in Miami, the unit was unable to perform consistently toward the end of each season. This naturally raised questions about the offense's limitations, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at the forefront of such conversations.

The Dolphins attack the middle of the field: No quarterback attempted more passes to the intermediate areas (between 10 and 19 yards downfield) between the numbers than Tagovailoa in 2023. The gap between him and second-placed Jared Goff (106 versus 82 attempts) was as big as between Goff and 11th-placed Sam Howell.

When Cousins has targeted that area on the field over the past five seasons, he ranks ninth in PFF grade out of 39 quarterbacks, while Tagovailoa is just 14th. The Vikings quarterback has a 118.5 passer rating on those throws, which ranks fourth among quarterbacks. Tagovailoa's 93.6 mark places just 21st.

Minnesota Vikings

We would be remiss not to mention Cousins’ current team, the Minnesota Vikings. Signing with the Vikings in 2018 elevated Cousins’ game to a new level. He had reached a PFF grade of 80.0 in just one of his previous five seasons with Washington but surpassed that number in five of his six seasons with Minnesota, including all of his last five campaigns.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell, who was hired ahead of the 2022 season, and Cousins got off to a rough start. Through Week 11 of the 2022 season, Cousins was just the 17th-highest-graded quarterback (71.8). He soon was playing at an elite level, and that lasted until he suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in 2023.

Since Week 12 of the 2022 season, Cousins has earned a 90.1 PFF grade, which ranks fifth — behind only Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow — making Cousins the highest-graded NFC quarterback over that span. Cousins' recent form in Minnesota and the potential of getting to keep playing with one of the top receivers in the NFL in Justin Jefferson might be enough for him to re-sign with the Vikings.


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