Justin Fields, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears

Justin Fields, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears


Justin Fields looks forward.

The Atlanta Falcons signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract at the beginning of free agency, putting to rest any quarterback conversations that were bound to happen during the offseason. While they landed Cousins, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who was on the trade market, had an interest in playing for the Falcons, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

“Chicago, intending to move the three-year starter as it prepared to select a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, was willing to give Fields some say in his next destination. The Steelers were one of four teams on Fields’ radar prior to the start of free agency, along with the Vikings, Raiders and Falcons, a source familiar with Fields’ thinking said.”

Fields, born in Kennesaw Georgia, ended up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s not surprising to hear that the former Bears quarterback wanted to come home and play for the Falcons.

Falcons Signing Cousins Was the Smart Move

Cousins is coming off an Achilles injury, but is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go this season. Signing him was the smart thing to do for the Atlanta Falcons, adding a legitimate option at the quarterback position to give Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts all they need to succeed.

Fields could’ve given them decent production, as seen from his time with the Chicago Bears, but Cousins, statistically, has been much better.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot knew they needed to upgrade the position, according to Josh Kendall of The Athletic.

“We knew going into this offseason we needed to upgrade that position. It was critical.

“(Cousins) is a known commodity. We know he’s going to be a multiplier for us. We have a lot of good young talent on offense. We have a really good offensive line that’s chomping at the bit. There is excitement right now.”

Fontenot wasn’t the only one who believed in Cousins, as owner Arthur Blank also wanted him.

“We think very highly of Kirk, which I think is evidenced by the contract,” Blank said.

“We needed significantly better play at that position, and I think Kirk will give us that opportunity. He’s had a lot of great years in the NFL and is playing really well of late, so we’re excited to have him.”

How Cousins Will Help the Falcons

Statistically, the Atlanta Falcons just added a quarterback who has thrown for over 4,000 yards in most seasons of his career. Cousins had three straight seasons with over 4,200 yards prior to his Achilles injury this season, including three years with at least 29 touchdown passes.

If he can come in and give the Falcons 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in a season, the Falcons’ offense will be greatly improved.

All-time great Troy Aikman has loved what he’s seen out of Cousins in his career, praising his ability to read a defense.

“I like him a lot as a thrower of the football and (for) his ability to read a defense and get the ball out,” Troy Aikman said.

“I want to see a quarterback drop back, put his foot in the ground and get the ball out. I want to see him reading the defense and knowing where to throw the football. Occasionally, you have to go off schedule and run around, but I don’t want to see that as part of over half the pass plays. I really enjoy watching him play.”

With Cousins in town, Aikman describes perfectly what he can bring to a Falcons team that needs better play at the quarterback position. Fields could’ve been an intriguing option, but the Falcons went the other direction and landed Cousins.

Jon Conahan covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com, focusing on the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Commanders. Since 2019, his sports coverage has appeared at Sports Illustrated, oddschecker, ClutchPoints and Sportskeeda. More about Jon Conahan

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