QB Kirk Cousins Trolls Vikings After Inking Deal With Falcons

Kirk Cousins, George Kittle

Getty Kirk Cousins and 49ers tight end George Kittle chatting during a 2022 preseason game.

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins rubbed a little salt in the fanbase’s collective wound after signing with the Atlanta Falcons on the opening day of free agency.

Judd Zulgad of SKOR North and USA Today re-posted a social media post from Cousins. The photograph showed Cousins and his two sons during what appears to be the official signing of his new deal with Atlanta. The contract is on a desk next to a Falcons helmet, while Cousins and his sons are smiling and holding up chains that read “DIRTY BIRDS.”

“This is brilliant trolling and reflects Cousins’ desire to stick it to his former employer,” Zulgad wrote. “If you don’t know about that chain, do some research. With Cousins, nothing is an accident.”

History of ‘Kirko Chainz’ Nickname Was Unique Source of Pride to Vikings Fanbase

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Kirk Cousins, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Cousins’ nickname “Kirko Chainz” became popular among Vikings players and fans in 2022. The first instance of the QB wearing his teammates’ jewelry occurred following a Week 4 win over the New Orleans Saints in London, when he draped the chain of left tackle Christian Darrisaw around his neck.

A video of Cousins shirtless and wearing several chains on the team plane after a victory over the Washington Commanders later that season went viral, spawning a dance that accompanied the nickname. Following an injury last season, Cousins led Vikings fans in a “SKOL” chant at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 17. He and his son, Cooper, each appeared shirtless with chains around their necks.

Playing on the history of chains as his go-to prop during his first photo-op with the Falcons is the kind of mild troll that fits Cousins’ good-guy brand. And while it’s hard to read the choice as a malicious action toward the Vikings fanbase, Zulgad is probably correct that it’s something of a shot at the organization itself.

Falcons Outbid Vikings for Kirk Cousins, Which Could Come Back to Haunt Minnesota

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Kirk Cousins.

During his introductory press conference in Atlanta on Wednesday night, Cousins spoke to the difference in how the Vikings brass handled his potential extension compared to how the Falcons organization approached negotiations on the new deal he ultimately signed.

“In Minnesota, over the last couple offseasons, it was trending to being somewhat year to year,” Cousins said, per Alec Lewis of The Athletic. “As we talked with Atlanta, it felt like this was a place where, if I play at the level I expect to play, I can retire a Falcon.”

The Falcons inked Cousins to a four-year deal worth $180 million total ($45 million annually), which includes $100 million fully guaranteed. Minnesota was unwilling to go that high and ended up signing San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Sam Darnold to a one-year contract.

NBC analyst and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms ripped the Vikings for that decision via social media on Wednesday.

“The more and more I think about it, the more I ask what the hell the Vikings were thinking letting Kirk Cousins out the door,” Simms posted to X. “A top 10-12 QB over a few million?? To start over at the most important position with no guarantee [of] drafting one of top guys??”

The Vikings will select at No. 11 overall in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft and will presumably look to take a quarterback there. However, as Simms alluded, Minnesota may need to trade up several spots to guarantee themselves one of the first five QBs taken in what is believed to be the deepest class at the position in recent memory.

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