Kirk Cousins Makes Unsettling Comment On Decision To Join Falcons

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons
NFL Analysis Network

When Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, he certainly didn’t expect all of this.

One of the biggest reasons why Cousins left the Minnesota Vikings was because they told him they were going to draft his replacement. They did just that, selecting J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick of the NFL Draft late last month.

The problem is, the Falcons basically did the same thing.

With the eighth selection of the draft, Atlanta took University of Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in a stunner. The Falcons also didn’t tell Cousins about it until they made the pick, and he was reportedly taken back by Atlanta’s decision (which you can understand).

During a recent media session, Cousins was asked by reporters if he would have signed with the Falcons had he known ahead of time they were going to pick Penix.

His answer wasn’t exactly assuring.

“I don’t really deal in hypotheticals,” Cousins said, via Eric Edholm of NFL.com. “We could go down that path for a long time in a lot of ways, and it just doesn’t do us any good.”

In other words, no. Cousins absolutely would not have inked a four-year deal with Atlanta if the organization told him, “Look, we’re going to sign you, but we’re always going to use our first-round pick on a quarterback. No big deal.”

Most expected the Falcons to take an edge rusher at No. 8, as the club had a clear need in its pass rush. Some also wondered if Atlanta would draft another weapon for Cousins. Outside of Drake London, the Falcons don’t have much at wide receiver, and Washington’s Rome Odunze was available when the Falcons were on the clock.

Instead, Atlanta opted to roll with Penix. Its reasoning was that it didn’t want another post-Matt Ryan type of situation after Cousins, so the franchise wanted to make sure it had the quarterback position in place for the next decade.

But the Falcons probably should have run that by Cousins first.

Cousins signed with Atlanta expecting the team to contend in 2024. He surely thought the Falcons would have that in mind when they were heading into the first round of the draft.

Instead, they were thinking about the future after Cousins, which surely had to be frustrating.

“I’m excited for this opportunity,” added Cousins. “I think it’s a real privilege to be a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and I’m trying to make good on the opportunity that they’ve given me with the way I work each day.”

We’ll see how Kirk Cousins performs come September.

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