Kirk Cousins: 'We've got to get through' George Kittle, 49ers

Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins knows the only way his new team can have success in 2024 is if they are able to outplay tight end George Kittle and the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (L) and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (R)
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (L) and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (R) / David Berding/GettyImages

Now-Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins admitted that George Kittle and the 49ers are the class of the NFC heading into 2024.

Until the San Francisco 49ers finally settled in on Brock Purdy as their long-term starting quarterback, no offseason was complete without some discourse about head coach Kyle Shanahan somehow trying to land his former protege, quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins has his ties to Shanahan from their days together with the Washington Redskins. Even after Cousins inked a lucrative deal with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, there were rumors and speculative reports that Shanahan and the Niners would somehow land the veteran signal-caller.

Those continued up until Purdy proved himself to be Shanahan's answer.

Now with the Atlanta Falcons, it seems as if any thought of Cousins donning a San Francisco uniform have evaporated. Turning 36 years old this offseason, Cousins likely finishes out his pro career within the NFC South.

That said, he understands that Purdy and the 49ers are the act to beat when it comes to dominating the conference.

Tight end George Kittle, too.

Kirk Cousins lauds George Kittle, 49ers: 'Everybody's kind of looking up at the Niners right now'

Cousins and Kittle were in attendance at the Masters PGA tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and they caught up with ESPN's Laura Rutledge, who asked the quarterback about transitioning from Minnesota to Atlanta.

Needless to say, Cousins was excited but also admitted that going through the Niners had to be the No. 1 priority for his Falcons if they hope to gain serious postseason traction under first-year head coach Raheem Morris.

That means besting Kittle's squad.

"Everybody's kind of looking up at the Niners right now in the NFC," Cousins told Rutledge. "So, if we're gonna go anywhere we've got to get through this guy (pointing in Kittle's direction)."

Kittle responded with a friendly shrug, acknowledging the accuracy of Cousins' statement.

San Francisco will play Cousins' former team, the Vikings, as part of the 2024 regular-season schedule, but the Falcons won't be on the 49ers' docket unless both teams meet up in the postseason.

If that just so happens to take place, Cousins' wish to "get through" Kittle and the Niners would be on the table.

Read more from Niner Noise