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Kirk Cousins finally addresses Falcons’ shocking decision to pick Michael Penix Jr. in Round 1 of NFL Draft

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The Atlanta Falcons splurged when acquiring their new franchise quarterback this offseason, signing former Minnesota Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract. It was the most lucrative contract handed out in free agency this offseason regardless of position, but the Falcons followed up this decision by drafting a quarterback at No. 8 overall.

Atlanta using its first-round pick on Michael Penix Jr. out of Washington was the story of the first round, and arguably the story of the 2024 NFL Draft. Cousins reportedly had no idea the Falcons were going to take a quarterback that high, and it was a decision that left him “shocked” and “disappointed,” according to NFL Media

Per SI.com, one of the reasons why Cousins left Minnesota was because the Vikings were up front with him about possibly selecting a quarterback high in the draft. It’s ironic that Cousins’ new team then drafted a quarterback inside the top 10. 

During a recent appearance on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast hosted by former NFL players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, Cousins finally addressed the Falcons’ decision to select Penix. 

“I think you’re reminded again that there are things you control, and there’s a lot of things you don’t control,” Cousins said. “So let’s deal in reality and recognize that fact, and then be a steward, not an owner. So I just believe that I gotta steward what comes my way and control what I can control, which is what a steward does, but a steward doesn’t worry about that which they can’t control. An owner does, an owner would be like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ So I just gotta steward this and just kinda do what I’ve always done as a player and let the chips fall where they may.”

Cousins was asked for his immediate reaction when he was told about the Penix selection. 

“Vikings, three years ago, I was finishing up a round of golf before the draft on Thursday and I’m on like the 18th hole, walking up the fairway and Klint Kubiak calls me, our OC,” Cousins recalled. “And he says, ‘Just wanna give you a heads up, we may draft a quarterback tonight.’ I said, ‘OK.’ 

“So I understood that, for a while, teams are always thinking about succession plans or always thinking about that. They didn’t end up drafting one that year, but you’re aware that this is a possible direction it could go. My point is this isn’t like a foreign concept. There’s an awareness that this is the NFL, anything can happen…”

Cousins then told a story from his high school days, when he was trying to earn a scholarship from Michigan State. He was told that the Spartans already offered five quarterbacks, and if one of them were to commit, Cousins would not be offered. But if all five passed on their offers, Cousins could potentially receive a scholarship. A week and a half later, then-head coach Mark Dantonio offered Cousins his scholarship, which he accepted even after being the program’s sixth choice. However, two weeks later, after Cousins had already signed, Michigan State came to him and said there was another quarterback they wanted to offer who extended his recruitment. That quarterback was Nick Foles. This showed Cousins that you will always have to compete for your job.

“It’s more like copy and paste than it is something new for me, because this goes so far back to how it always has been,” said Cousins.

Compton asked Cousins if there’s any “beef” involved with the Falcons after their first-round decision. 

“No I don’t think there can be, I don’t think it’s helpful,” Cousins said. “Like, we’re trying to win a Super Bowl, and it’s hard enough. So let’s all be on the same page and let’s try to go win a Super Bowl.”

Source CBSSports.com

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