Atlanta Falcons quarterback controversy is overblown and misunderstood

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Just as the Lamar Jackson and Bill Belichick stories grew lives of their own for the Atlanta Falcons so has the discussion of Michael Penix Jr. vs. Kirk Cousins. Many Atlanta writers have pointed out the clear issues with this move with the clearest being the roster needs.

Yes, the top edge rushers would have been a reach in retrospect but it was the position Atlanta so badly needed. The team opted to reach at a position that they didn't need this season. The second issue is the lack of communication with Kirk Cousins as to what was going to happen on draft night.

This is the beginning and end of the problems with what the Falcons did. Any suggestion that the owner didn't know and was arguing with the GM on the heels of the pick are obviously misguided. Just as the suggestion that the Falcons could now look to trade or bench Kirk Cousins is completely ridiculous.

Atlanta has become a national sports story due to the fallout from the pick. While some of this is warranted the discussion around it has lost a lot of context. The complete reason Atlanta made this move is believing that with two years of sitting behind Kirk Cousins, Michael Penix Jr. will be the next franchise quarterback.

If the team is right this means more than a decade of quarterback stability for an organization that just lived through Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder. Their argument is that preparing for the future at the most important position trumps any roster needs that could have been filled with the 8th overall pick.

This is an argument that is impossible to answer until we see Michael Penix Jr. play. You can easily make the argument against it but whether or not you're right will have to wait until Cousins moves on and the Falcons give Penix his time as the starter.

Atlanta's situation is being misunderstood with the suggestions of trades or a quarterback debate. Money is what drives this league and the money says that Kirk Cousins is going to be the quarterback for the next two seasons. Only due to injury or in 2026 will we have a serious conversation about moving Cousins.

The team can begin trade or cut discussions in year three of his contract before that time would result in a dead cap hit that severely hurts this roster. Aside from the money, the coaching staff and front office have been very upfront about their want to have Penix learn from Cousins and compete in the playoffs for the next two years.

Yes, the Falcons adding two quarterbacks in the manner that they did is odd. However, the story has become overblown and misunderstood with Atlanta's intentions and plans remaining clear. Whether or not you agree with the method the intent is obvious to those that are paying attention and understand that Kirk Cousins is still this team's plan for the next two seasons.