NFC South is still wide open for Saints, even with Kirk Cousins signing with Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons made a huge signing with Kirk Cousins, making them a threat to win the NFC South. Still, the New Orleans Saints can win the division.

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins plans to sign a massive four-year, $180 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons. With Cousins coming to play point guard for the talented, young Atlanta offense, the Falcons may have taken the lead as the favorites in the NFC South. However, the door is still wide open for the New Orleans Saints to win the division.

The NFC South this season should be a three-team race: the Atlanta Falcons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the New Orleans Saints. All three of these teams are very close and should lead to a very interesting race for the division title. The Buccaneers aren’t currently making any big splashes, besides re-signing players. Getting back Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, and Antoine Winfield Jr. are all huge pieces for them and we should expect them to be similar to last year. Those moves don’t have the same splash factor as the Kirk Cousins signing, though.

Kirk Cousins to sign with Falcons

It is not easy to predict how the Falcons will do this year. They have a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, and a new quarterback. Kirk Cousins is also currently recovering from a torn Achilles. It will be interesting to see how that recovery goes and how well he will adapt to the new system. Lucky for him, both Kevin O'Connell ( the Vikings head coach) and Zac Robinson, Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, both come from the Sean McVay coaching tree. This should make the transition easier for Kirk Cousins and require less of a learning curve for the veteran.

The Falcons have plenty of playmakers on the offensive side to help Cousins. Bijan Robinson and Drake London both have extremely promising upside going into next year. Their usage should be more productive than it has been in future years and it should be expected for them to take big strides in their development.

The Saints aren’t out of the running, though. With new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, the Saints have a solid shot to be in the mix for the NFC South. If Derek Carr continues the trajectory that he was on at the end of the previous season, then the Saints offense could start looking good again. The Saints need to address plenty of needs still but if they do they are right in the running.