Kirk Cousins finally breaks silence on the weirdest pick in the 2024 NFL Draft

Kirk Cousins is...not thrilled.
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

To say Kirk Cousins was caught off guard by the Atlanta Falcons' decision to draft quarterback Michael Penix Jr. out of Washington would be an understatement. To say he was upset might be an even bigger understatement.

Cousins spoke to the media for the first time since the Falcons drafted Penix, and he was asked the absolute perfect question regarding the situation:

So, in other words, no. He would not have signed with them if he had known they were taking a QB at pick #8 overall.

Cousins could have easily responded by saying that, yes, he would have signed in Atlanta anyway knowing that he was the guy for the foreseeable future. He could have said that he wanted to be a Falcon no matter what and that he loved the fit. But he didn't say that. He said, "I don't deal in hypotheticals."

This wasn't just an unpopular decision by the Falcons -- it quickly became the most controversial move in an offseason where the Denver Broncos are taking on the largest dead cap hit in NFL history, cutting Russell Wilson less than two years after making a blockbuster trade to acquire him.

The Falcons signed Kirk Cousins to a monster four-year deal worth $180 million in total money and $100 million in guarantees. That contract would indicate supreme confidence in Cousins for at least the next three seasons, and supreme confidence in his recovery from a season-ending Achilles injury last year.

The decision to draft Penix -- who is officially 24 years old -- less than two months after making that free agency move? Well, it's baffling, to say the least. It's confusing. It's got to be tough for Cousins because he didn't come to Atlanta -- leaving a good situation in Minnesota -- expecting to have a first-round rookie breathing down his neck.

Penix could legitimately take Cousins' job at any time. He's the first quarterback general manager Terry Fontenot has invested a first-round draft choice in. Fontenot and his staff were so convicted about drafting Penix that they did so even after signing Cousins to a monster deal. You can't help but empathize with Cousins a bit, because it feels like he got played by the Falcons. Yes, he's getting paid a lot of money, but he's not getting paid a lot of money to mentor his first-round replacement.

The Falcons have essentially re-created their own version of the Aaron Rodgers/Jordan Love situation, except that Jordan Love was only 21 years old when he was drafted out of Utah State. The clock on Penix is ticking a bit faster.

Hypothetically speaking, if Cousins doesn't look right early on in this season, the Falcons could move on and never look back.