NFL Rumors: Cowboys trade target, Falcons-Cousins holdup, Giants disaster averted

  • Giants fanbase receives great news on Saquon Barkley front
  • Cold water poured on Falcons-Kirk Cousins hype
  • Cowboys allow Michael Gallup to seek a trade

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL rumors: Kirk Cousins to Falcons is not a done deal yet

We've all penciled Kirk Cousins into the Atlanta Falcons depth chart at this point, right?

His wife is from Alpharetta. A recent report from NBC Sports' Mike Florio cites "very credible indications" that Cousins is considering moving his family to Atlanta full-time. He also says the Falcons have "always been the top alternative" to the Minnesota Vikings.

All signs point in that direction and it is probably the most likely outcome. There is no team closer to contention than the Falcons that does not roster a starting-caliber QB. With all due respect to Desmond Ridder, he's not the answer. The Falcons have talent galore on offense and a competent defense, but they desperately need a quality QB to tie all the pieces together. Cousins is more than capable of leading Atlanta to the postseason.

That said, don't count your eggs before they've hatched. Just because Cousins-to-Atlanta is the most natural outcome, that doesn't mean it is a done deal. According to SKOR North's Darren Wolfson, a source "shot down" the recent reports of Cousins considering a move to Atlanta. That doesn't end the Cousins-Atlanta speculation, but it appears that other options are on the table.

Cousins could demand as much as $90 million guaranteed at 35 years old. He's coming off an Achilles injury, the first major knee ailment of his career. It couldn't have come at a worse time. Cousins was extremely productive in eight appearances before the injury — 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, five INTs on 69.5 percent completion rate — but there's no telling how exactly he will look post-operation.

That said, the Falcons' options are limited. Baker Mayfield is off the table. Mason Rudolph, Jacoby Brissett, and Garnder Minshew don't really qualify as "solutions." Is Russell Wilson even considering Atlanta? It sure seems like Cousins or bust, unless the Falcons burn the No. 8 pick in April's NFL Draft on a QB.

There's a strong chance that Cousins can take Atlanta pretty far in the NFC, but the lingering doubt about his knee — combined with the other suitors hovering in the shadows — could eventually snuff out momentum toward a deal.