Recently, the NFL world received a jolt to the senses when it was announced that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins would be leaving the franchise in order to sign with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. The move landed the Falcons their clear best quarterback since the day of Matt Ryan and gave Cousins the opportunity to reinvent his career after last season's devastating Achilles injury which cut that campaign short and effectively ended any realistic chances the Vikings had of postseason contention.

Recently, Cousins appeared on The Big Podcast with NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal and revealed his one hundred percent honest message to Atlanta fans following the shocking decision.

“They need to know that I'm going to be committed to doing everything I can to help us win a world championship,” said Cousins, via The Big Podcast on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter. “That every day I get up, like I drove to Flowery Branch today, you know, and doing rehab, it's 365 really. Like, what do we have to do to win a world championship? And I want this to be my final stop. No offense, but I don't want to go play for the Suns and the Celtics at the end. I want to finish with the Heat, if you will, and be done.”

Those last comments were of course a reference to O'Neal's status as something of a journeyman toward the end of his career as his play declined steeply, a fate that Cousins will hope to avoid in his own NFL career.

Cousins went on to explain why family was such an important part of making his decision.

“My boys are six and five. They won't remember that I played in Washington. They will barely remember that I played in Minnesota. They're going to remember that I played for the Falcons. And I want those to be good memories, so I feel like this is the stretch, I want to finish strong,” said Cousins.

An important offseason for the Falcons

Atlanta actually improved in several areas during the 2023-24 NFL season, including most notably on defense due to the several acquisitions they made during the previous offseason. However, utterly horrific quarterback play stopped the team from winning the historically weak NFC South.

Now, with Cousins in the mix, the hope is that the Falcons will be able to bring all of these pieces together, combined with a revamped offensive system following the departure of previous head coach Arthur Smith, whose bizarre unwillingness to utilize the team's many skill positional first round draft picks constantly drew the ire of an increasingly restless (understandably so) fanbase.

The Falcons are now coached by Raheem Morris, the man who led their best defense in recent history back during the 2017 season and who also recently helped guide the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 2021-22. The Falcons will likely look to add to that defense in the upcoming NFL Draft, which is slated to take place later this month.