Bill Belichick Linked to $35 Million QB in Coaching Search

Bill Belichick

Getty Bill Belichick could bring Kirk Cousins with him to Atlanta.

Former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could have his next destination and a quarterback picked out separately.

Belichick has a second interview with the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, and free agency-bound quarterback Kirk Cousins expressed openings to teaming up with Belichick. Cousins currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings on a one-year, $35 million contract, and the Falcons could use a serious boost at quarterback.

“I’m not gonna turn down an opportunity to play with a future Hall of Fame coach,” Cousins told CBS Sports’ Isabel Gonzalez on Thursday. “But we’ll have to see where March leads. It’s just a lot of unknowns right now.”

There is one known in the picture, Pro Football Talk’s Peter King reported. Cousins’ wife, Julie, grew up in Alpharettea, Georgia, which is in the greater Atlanta area, where her parents still reside.

Belichick, who left the Patriots on January 11 after 24 seasons in New England, wants a smaller-market franchise with less media fanfare according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. For more than two decades, Belichick handled the media-heavy spotlight of the Patriots amid nine Super Bowl appearances and six championships.

“Although Belichick to Atlanta is not done yet, there’s buzz around the league that it’s moving in that direction,” Florio reported on Thursday. “As one league source explained it, Belichick is believed to be done with ‘big-market media,’ making him more inclined to go to a place like Atlanta than Dallas or Philadelphia.”

“As to the Cowboys and the Eagles, there’s also a belief in some league circles that both team expressed interest in Belichick, that Belichick didn’t reciprocate, and that those teams then decided to stick with their current coaches,” Florio continued.

Kirk Cousins on Bill Belichick: ‘I have Great Respect for Him’

Cousins, who could re-sign with the Vikings, opened up about how much he respects Belichick. In addition, he recounted their last game when the Vikings held off the Patriots 33-26 in 2022.

“I have great respect for him as a coach, like everyone else in pro football,” Cousins told Gonzalez. “I mean, if you go to that many Super Bowls, win that many Super Bowls, go to that many conference championship games, have the defensive production he’s had for years and years, it says it all.”

“We played them last year on Thanksgiving night,” Cousins added. “And, once again, I noticed several times what he did coverage-wise was challenging and it was different. You always know when you play him that you’re kind of looking over your shoulder [and] wondering if what you’re seeing is correct.”

“Because you know he usually is going to break the mold and do something different, and that’s part of what has made him a great coach,” Cousins continued.

How Would the Falcons Look With Bill Belichick and Kirk Cousins

Atlanta might not soar to Super Bowl contention by landing Belichick and Cousins, but it could alter the franchise’s trajectory.

The Falcons went 7-10 in 2023, and the team faces more rebuilding ahead in 2024. Atlanta’s offense struggled nearly as much as New England’s with 18.9 points per game. The Falcons defense showed some promise with 21.9 points and 336.2 yards allowed per contest, however.

If Belichick can develop the defense and Cousins can make the most of the Falcons’ talented skill players, Atlanta could make serious strides in 2024.