Kirk Cousins thanks Minnesota and Vikings, calls leaving for Atlanta ‘bittersweet’

After six seasons in purple and gold, Kirk Cousins is leaving for Atlanta but says the state’s impact on him will remain.

Cousins posted a video to social media on Wednesday before he officially signed with the Falcons, calling it a “bittersweet day” because he’s excited to join Atlanta but added that saying goodbye to Minnesota “is what makes today tough.”

In the 83-second video, Cousins highlighted his Vikings teammates, coaches, support staff and the team’s ownership, calling them “tremendous” and expressing his appreciation for their support.

“A quarterback really doesn’t have a chance without great people around him, and for six seasons, I had great people around me, and I don’t take that for granted,” Cousins said.

He also showed the fans some love for the way they embraced him, particularly over the past year or two.

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“You meant so much to my family and, as a result of your impact, Minnesota will always hold a special place in the hearts of me and my family,” Cousins said of the fans.

“It was a privilege to quarterback the Minnesota Vikings,” he added.

Cousins, who will turn 36 before the start of next season, started 88 games, threw for 23,265 yards, 171 touchdowns vs. 55 interceptions with the Vikings and earned three Pro Bowl selections. However, he suffered an Achilles injury that forced him to miss the second half of last season and is reportedly getting a four-year deal worth $45 million per season from the Falcons.

The Vikings have signed Sam Darnold as a short-term replacement for Cousins but the team is also expected to focus on possibly selecting a long-term replacement in the draft next month.

Follow all of Minnesota’s moves in free agency here.