Atlanta Falcons poor quarterback management has set both players up for failure

Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Atlanta Falcons rookie quarterback Michael Penix Jr. inked his rookie deal with the team this week. The move makes Atlanta's quarterback room official with Penix joining Kirk Cousins and Taylor Heinicke. The decision to draft Penix 8th overall after signing Kirk Cousins is going to continue to be criticized and questioned.

Despite all of the well-found questioning of the move, it isn't an indictment on Michael Penix Jr. The young quarterback appears to be a solid prospect and could work in the right offense. The problem isn't Penix or buying into the young quarterback's future.

The problem for Atlanta is the continual quarterback controversy Penix could invite and failing to follow their own logic. Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Justin Fields, and Jimmy G. were all on the market. All four quarterbacks would have been far cheaper bridge options that are easy to move on from if they struggle.

Allowing you not only to draft Penix 8th overall but to load your roster up with talent with the money you spent on Kirk Cousins. Any quarterback controversy is avoided with either the veteran bridge starter playing well enough to hold the job, or the team handing the reins over to Penix.

If the front office fully believed in Penix Jr. this is the most sensical route to take. The flip side of this argument is if they fully believed in Kirk Cousins the team owed it to their players and fanbase to make win-now moves. Cousins is in his mid-thirties and being given a highly-paid deal. With this deal in mind, your draft picks become vital to you having a chance to find key production.

Spending the 8th overall pick on a player you will bench is in many ways unfair to both Penix and Cousins. Yes, both players are being compensated well, however, neither has been given their best path to success.

Penix is stuck behind Cousins for at least two years while the veteran Cousins could have had a valuable piece added to help the team's 2024 efforts. Not only that but now anytime Cousins turns the ball over or struggles in a key moment what will the conversation be?

Atlanta set the move up poorly and managed to botch the execution not once but twice. First failing to tell their quarterback about the pick and with the recent news the team turned down a free 4th round pick.

There is a lot of reason for optimism this team will take a step forward in the 2024 season. Just as there is reason for frustration and distrust with how the front office has gone about building this team. Perhaps Michael Penix Jr. is the franchise quarterback they believe him to be. Even if that is the case, Atlanta will continue to catch heat for wasting away the cheapest years and the biggest window to contend. No matter how you slice it, barring a Super Bowl win the front office has fumbled key parts of the offseason.