NFL insider sheds new light on Falcons QB dynamic

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Valero Alamo Bowl

The Falcons shocked the NFL world when they selected Michael Penix with their top pick a little over a month after giving Kirk Cousins a $180 million free agent deal.

Not only did it surprise the rest of the league, but the decision rocked Flowery Branch. The Falcons created a potential rift in the building. It’s not easy to balance a dynamic of a win-now, $180 million quarterback and the supposed next franchise quarterback.

However, it seems that Raheem Morris and Terry Fontenot don’t have to do much mediating at all because Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix know their roles. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the situation has “normalized” because of the quarterbacks themselves.

“Yes, things were a little awkward after Michael Penix Jr. was drafted, and Kirk Cousins took in his new circumstance in real time,” wrote Breer. “What got Atlanta through a difficult situation—after that subsided—is the quarterbacks.

Penix’s maturity, humility and emotional intelligence allowed the rookie to carry a tactful approach into what was a pretty unusual entry to the NFL for a top-of-the-first-round quarterback. Cousins, for his part, did what he’s done throughout his career (and he’s been in situations more awkward than this one before) in taking the high road.”

None of this is surprising whatsoever. Kirk Cousins is a consummate professional. At every opportunity to be the bigger person or be a diva, Cousins chooses to be the former. He’s the ultimate professional and wasn’t going to change course now.

But it takes two to tango. Michael Penix’s involvement was just as important, and he’s got the right attitude. Instead of looking at being drafted by the Falcons as a headache to sit behind an aging veteran; Penix is looking at it as an opportunity to learn behind a guy who has carved out a 10+ year career in the NFL, despite being physically limited.

The Falcons obviously did their homework and were comfortable taking the risk. At this point, it’s all smooth sailing, but that doesn’t mean things can’t go awry. There will be outside noise when the Falcons and/or Cousins inevitably struggle. How they deal with that outside noise could define the 2024 season.

Photo: John Rivera/Icon Sportswire


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: