A lot could change for the Atlanta Falcons in the next three months, however, at this moment it is clear that the team will be in the quarterback market. If Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot are retained it will be year four and the level of urgency will demand a veteran option.
The Falcons aren't going to be in the position to chase a Drake Maye or Caleb Williams. At best the team could trade up for the third or fourth-best quarterback in this year's class. As we have seen in years past even if you land the top prospect it takes time.
Year four is winning time for Smith and Fontenot and free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins is the perfect answer. Yes, the quarterback suffered a season-ending injury but before the injury Cousins was playing at an MVP level.
Give Cousins Atlanta's young weapons and an improving defense once he is healthy and Atlanta will be an NFC contender. Kirk Cousins is the only clear fit for a Falcons team that needs a veteran who can step in ready to win from day one.
Drafting a quarterback is still on the table but you need a veteran ready to step in and win right away. Atlanta's top options seem to be Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, and Kyler Murray. Tannehill is clearly heading in the wrong direction and a turnover machine.
Murray would be a great fit for the offense until you consider the contract the Falcons would be trading for. This leaves Kirk Cousins or fringe starters like Jameis Winston or Carson Wentz. Atlanta's best path to winning and becoming a contender is to chase Cousins despite the season-ending injury.
If needed the Falcons can turn back to Desmond Ridder to ease Cousins back into the lineup. Regardless of how they do it the fit for both sides is clear for a team still looking to replace Matt Ryan.
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