12 teams who blew it letting Kirk Cousins sign with the Falcons

Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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1. New Orleans Saints

Paying Derek Carr was a mistake for a franchise that cannot get out of its own way. Carr's dead cap hits the next two seasons would be $62-million or $50-million. There isn't an easy way out anytime soon for a team that is unable to commit to a rebuild or spend to get the needed upgrades.

If the Saints were going to pay top dollar for a quarterback they would have been far better off starting Jameis Winston for a season and chasing Kirk Cousins. With Winston you have a similar ceiling for a fraction of the price. Even Taysom Hill would have been a better long-term option with the utility player offering you the chance for a high draft pick that would have given you a chance at finding a cheap rookie quarterback.

Three years ago Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins were in the same conversation. Now Carr is in the bottom tier of the league's starters and the last time we saw Cousins he was playing at an MVP level. Carr's most memorable moments in the 2023 season are screaming at his teammates and a handful of key missed plays.

With Kirk Cousins are the Saints a playoff team? The answer is no, but they are in a much better position and wouldn't be stuck with a similar contract for a worse player.