Kirk Cousins to Atlanta, Saquon Barkley to Philadelphia among NFL’s blockbuster signings

Kirk Cousins and Saquon Barkley, two of pro football’s best-known players at their positions, flew the coop Monday for the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, jolting the normally staid NFL offseason.

Cousins, the fifth-leading passer of all active quarterbacks, has left the Minnesota Vikings and agreed to a four-year deal with the Falcons, said his agent, Mike McCartney.

Cousins, 35, had spent six seasons in Minnesota, following six campaigns with the franchise now known as the Washington Commanders.

The NFL’s 2024 schedule hasn’t been announced, but each team knows whom they’ll be playing this fall. The Falcons, by coincidence, are set to visit the Vikings this season.

Barkley, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher with the New York Giants, wrote on X: “Thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support over the past 6 years… forever grateful! Excited for the next chapter.”

His next post was simply of two eagle heads.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Jan. 7.Cooper Neill / Getty Images file

Barkley, 27, was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft out of Penn State.

He rushed for a single-season career high of 1,312 yards on 4.4 yards per carry in 2022, helping the Giants to a 9-7-1 mark and an unexpected playoff appearance.

Barkley and New York both slumped this past season, as he ran for 962 yards and a 3.9 average, while the Giants fell to 6-11. But he was still a valuable prize on the free agent market, particularly down the road in Philadelphia, where he quickly filled a need.

Barkley’s announcement came hours after the Eagles lost their top rusher as Philadelphia native D’Andre Swift bolted for the Chicago Bears.

As rivals in the NFC East, the Eagles and the Giants will meet twice this season.

Running back Tony Pollard, who rushed for at least 1,000 yards the past two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, came to terms with the Tennessee Titans, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported Monday.

And another running back on the move appeared to be Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders, who is set to ditch the desert in favor of the frozen tundra of Green Bay, the NFL Network reported. Jacobs, 26, rushed for 805 yards last season after having led the NFL with 1,653 in 2022.

The move to Green Bay is likely to lead to the release of Aaron Jones, whose last game as a Packer was a spectacular 108-yard, 18-carry game against the San Francisco 49ers in a playoff loss on Jan. 20.

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, let go after two turbulent seasons with the Denver Broncos, announced Sunday that he’s headed to Pittsburgh to play his 13th NFL season with the Steelers.

It has been just four weeks since the Kansas City Chiefs defeated San Francisco, 25-22, in Las Vegas to capture their second consecutive Super Bowl title and their third championship in five years.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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