Kirk Cousins' agent cements legacy with latest free agency finesse

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Former Washington Commanders quarterback Kirk Cousins' agent pulled off one final free agency finesse to send shockwaves through the NFL.

Although there was some speculation linking Kirk Cousins with an emotional return to the Washington Commanders in free agency, it didn't seem as if much substance was attached. That proved to be the case as the veteran quarterback departed the Minnesota Vikings for another lucrative contract.

According to multiple reports, Cousins has agreed to join the Atlanta Falcons. The terms of the deal are eye-watering, which is in keeping with the contracts handed out to the former Michigan State standout since his departure from Washington.

Commanders were right to ignore Kirk Cousins

Cousins is getting a four-year, $180 million deal from the Falcons. This includes a $50 million signing bonus and $90 million guaranteed over the first two years. After that, an additional $10 million will be added to the pot, making the total guarantees set at $100 million.

This confirms what many have suspected for years. Agent Mike McCartney is a finesse God.

His ability to extract maximum value for Cousins despite little in the way of playoff accomplishments is staggering. McCartney uses every ounce of leverage to his advantage and his client's benefit. This is just the latest example of expert negotiating from one of the best in the business. It's also a buyer's market early in free agency, something that didn't go unnoticed with how swiftly things got worked out with Atlanta.

Cousins makes the Falcons better instantly. They are now NFC South title favorites thanks to weapons at his disposal. But handing this sort of money and contract length to a 36-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles tear represents a gamble of epic proportions.

Even if the Falcons did reach the postseason, then what? Signing Cousins comes with risk attached and might not move the needle that much against the NFC's heavyweights. Only time will tell in that regard.

This is probably the final contract Cousins will get before retirement. McCartney's latest masterstroke takes his career earnings surging through the $300 million mark. For a guy that's good but not elite, it's a substantial return.

Had the Commanders shown an interest, this price should have turned them off in a heartbeat. They have far too many roster holes to allocate such a big financial commitment to an aging signal-caller. Building through the draft and doing things the right way is a sensible course of action from Adam Peters and the new regime.

The Falcons feel like they're in a good spot to take the next step with Cousins despite having a first-year head coach themselves in Raheem Morris. If it all goes wrong, it'll set them back for a generation.

But at the same time, with high risk comes high reward.