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In moving on, Cousins talks about what was missing in Minnesota

In the end, there were 180,000,000 reasons Kirk Cousins decided to play for the Falcons in 2024. With Cousins, it is always wise to follow the money, and as long as nothing wild happens he will make at least $100 million guaranteed in Atlanta.

But in his introductory news conference with the Falcons on Wednesday evening, Cousins offered several other tertiary reasons why he is now in Atlanta after six years with the Vikings.

Family ties are important; Cousins' in-laws live in the Atlanta area, and the family has spent a lot of time in the area. It's even where they got married and where one of their sons was born.

Trying to win is key. Atlanta felt like it could be a QB away from at least contending for a division title.

The most revealing thing Cousins said, though, was a signal of what he thinks he has in Atlanta — and what he probably never had, at least consistently, in Minnesota. I talked about this on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast.

"When the owner, GM, head coach and quarterback are on the same page, that's when you really have a chance to go win the Super Bowl," Cousins said in his opening remarks, recalling something a coach had told him back in his days in Washington. "As I looked at the Atlanta Falcons, I believe strongly that the owner, head coach, general manager and quarterback can all be on the same page, and that's exciting for me."

As I listened to Cousins say that Wednesday, it struck me that not only was he talking about Atlanta, but by extension he was talking about Minnesota — and what he didn't have.

When Cousins arrived in 2018, the Vikings presented a unified front. But it was clear from head coach Mike Zimmer's comments at the scouting combine not long before the signing that he preferred a lower-cost quarterback that would help the Vikings keep their characteristic stingy defense at the forefront.

Cousins and Zimmer established a working relationship and won games together, but there was often underlying tension — and sometimes plain-to-see angst, which spilled over in a 2021 game against Detroit.

After Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman were fired, Cousins' biggest ally shifted from Spielman to head coach Kevin O'Connell. In two years under the new regime with O'Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, though, Cousins never got a long-term commitment from Adofo-Mensah.

Cousins alluded to that, too, saying Wednesday, "I think in Minnesota, it was trending over the last couple of seasons to being somewhat year to year."

Whether Atlanta is truly unified in its vision remains to be seen. But how Cousins viewed his time in Minnesota is becoming clearer.

Here are four more things to know today:

*Also on Thursday's podcast, I had a long conversation with the Star Tribune's Jeff Day and Gavin Dorsey about Name, Image and Likeness. Please give that a listen and check out this guide to NIL — a good starting point on the Star Tribune's series on the game-changing subject.

*Aaron Rodgers is not having a great week.

*Speaking of Zimmer, former Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks appeared to be signing with the 49ers. Instead, he is joining Dallaswhere Zimmer is the new defensive coordinator.

*Friday's podcast will have plenty on the newest Vikings as well as a long Twins discussion with Star Tribune beat writer Bobby Nightengale.