Should Falcons pursue Justin Fields or Kirk Cousins this offseason?

Decisions, decisions...

Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The Desmond Ridder era for the Atlanta Falcons is over but who will the next starting quarterback be for the organization? All sorts of names are getting floated around out there but two that you might be hearing frequently are Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears and Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

Fields was a first-round pick by the Bears in 2021 and has thrown for 6,674 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions in 40 games while rushing for 2,220 yards and 14 scores in that same timeframe.

Cousins is a former fourth-round pick by Washington in 2012 and he eventually won the starting quarterback job there over second overall pick Robert Griffin III. Cousins signed with the Vikings in 2018 and has gone on to throw for over 23,000 yards and 171 touchdowns since heading up north.

If the Falcons had to pick one of these quarterbacks to lead the charge for them, who should it be?

Who makes more sense for the Falcons at QB?

Fields is the younger option between the two, turning 25 in March while Cousins will be turning 36 this summer. With Fields being a decade younger than Cousins, the team might have a franchise quarterback for the next half-decade, but with that comes an expensive contract and having to send assets to Chicago to acquire Fields.

Meanwhile, Cousins wouldn't need to be traded so the Falcons can outright sign him to a contract without having to give up anything extra. PFF projects Cousins to earn a two-year deal worth $70 million while Fields would be making far more than that.

The question the Falcons will need to answer here is do they want to add Cousins and go all in for a few years and then be in this boat again when Cousins hangs it up? Or do they want to trade Fields, sign him to a long-term deal, and maybe not have as many assets to build around the team?

With the Falcons having one of the best offensive lines in the league, either of these guys would be able to play well (hopefully, at least) but each quarterback possesses different strengths. Fields is an excellent runner and can take off at a moment's notice while Cousins is more of a traditional pocket passer but can lead teams to the playoffs.

Cousins is the safer pick but Fields could be someone the Falcons have on their roster for the next five years if things go according to plan. He's also from Georgia, so that's another factor tipping the scale in Fields' favor.

I'd personally want to see the Falcons trade for Justin Fields and sign him to an extension because they'd have their franchise guy this way. Cousins could help them for a few years but he's turning 36 this summer and likely doesn't have many more years left as a solid starter.

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