No reason for Falcons to feel sorry for Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins Falcons

A popular talking point among media pundits when it comes to the Kirk Cousins/Michael Penix saga is how unfair this must be for the veteran.

The former Vikings quarterback inked a four-year contract with the Falcons under the assumption that they would do everything in their power to build a contending team around him. Instead, before he’s even taken a snap for the team, they spent their most valuable draft pick on his successor.

Immediately, Cousins’ agent came out and said his client was shocked and perturbed by the decision, which is more than understandable. The Falcons didn’t let him know the situation until there were about five minutes left on the clock and they were about to turn in the pick.

Now, a little over a week later, Albert Breer reported that a primary reason Cousins was willing to leave the Vikings is because of how upfront they were about taking a quarterback that could potentially replace him in the first round. The Falcons clearly were not, but that doesn’t mean anybody should be feeling sorry for Kirk Cousins.

There are two types of quarterbacks when it comes to the negotiating table, and the perfect examples are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, arguably the two best quarterbacks of all time. Brady was all about winning, even willing to play at a discount if it meant helping the team hoist more Lombardis. Manning made sure he squeezed every penny out of the front office.

There’s nothing wrong with either side, but Kirk Cousins certainly falls into the Manning category. He’s had a good career, but he’s only won one playoff game and will make over $400 million in his career. Cousins may be shocked by the direction of the Falcons, just like the rest of us, and it was nice for the Vikings to do right by him.

However, the Falcons owe him nothing except the money they agreed to when he signed the contract. Cousins is a professional; he knows the business side of things as well as any athlete that’s played the game. There’s not a time during his career where he hasn’t had his agent hold the feet of potential suitors to the fire so that he could make the most money possible, which brings me to my next point.

Kirk Cousins might not be happy that the Falcons drafted his successor, but I’m not sure it would have changed anything. The Falcons offered more money, more guarantees, and more years. Judging by the way Cousins has operated his entire career, that alone would have pried him away from Minnesota, no matter what the Falcons decided to do with their first round pick.

For a multitude of reasons, this situation with Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr. could go horribly wrong, but worrying about Cousins’ feelings should be at the bottom of the list of the Falcons’ concerns. This is a business at the end of the day, and I’m actually glad to see the Falcons put the organization first rather than worry about things that don’t matter when it comes to winning football games.

Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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