The Atlanta Falcons Declined This Trade To Draft Michael Penix Jr.

Atlanta Falcons
NFL Analysis Network

One of the biggest surprises of the 2024 NFL Draft was when the Atlanta Falcons selected Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth pick.

Many believed that Atlanta could’ve selected him later in the draft, but Falcons GM Terry Fontenot, thought differently.

Atlanta declined trading with the Chicago Bears to select Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

In a recent release of Roku’s docuseries NFL Draft: The Pick Is In, it was unveiled that not only did the Falcons take Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick, but they turned down a trade with the Chicago Bears to do so.

The Bears had pick No. 9 in the 2024 NFL Draft, one pick behind Atlanta, and they were looking to swap picks with the Falcons. Chicago had its eyes set on a teammate of Penix Jr.: Standout receiver Rome Odunze.

Odunze was one of the top receivers in the draft according to most NFL analysts, and the Bears already used the No. 1 pick on the highly touted quarterback prospect, Caleb Williams.

Chicago was offering pick No. 9 and a future fourth-round pick to move up one spot with Atlanta, but yet, the Falcons weren’t interested. Instead, they stayed put, drafting who they deemed their quarterback of the future.

This was hardly a month after signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract with $100 million guaranteed and a $50 million signing bonus.

The only way this would make sense from a fan’s perspective is if the Falcons thought Chicago would then trade out from the eighth pick, handing the pick to a quarterback-needy team that Atlanta had already declined to sell the pick to.

All-in-all, it was a wildly shocking move to see the Falcons not only select Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick, but to know they were offered a free future draft pick to take him one pick later — since there was a near 0 percent chance Chicago would’ve taken Penix Jr. — and decline the offer.

This will be one of those draft picks that either looks like a genius move down the road or the reason the team’s current GM is looking for a new job.

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