Atlanta Falcons veteran could bring more criticism to selection of Penix

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

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback management has consistently come into question this offseason. Atlanta went from one extreme to the other opting to ignore conventional wisdom after signing Kirk Cousins.

Wisdom that says if you make the move of signing an aging quarterback to a highly-paid deal it is time to go all in. Atlanta's response was investing their top draft pick in another quarterback while ignoring their secondary and pass rush.

Frustrating with the moves comes with the understanding that Atlanta is a team now the opportunity to be good but not great. Finding key contributors in the draft was paramount after the Falcons paid top dollar for Cousins and Darnell Mooney.

What made the decision even stranger was re-working Taylor Heinicke's contract and keeping the veteran on the roster. After re-working his contract and signing Cousins the move made a level of sense.

The Atlanta Falcons may have spent the 8th overall pick on a third-string quarterback

However, after drafting Penix there is a real chance the Falcons spent the 8th pick on a third-string quarterback. Watching Heinicke vs. Penix in camp is arguably the most fascinating positional battle of the summer.

One that if Heinicke wins will put even more heat on Atlanta's front office. Kirk Cousins is this team's starter and barring injury or a complete collapse that isn't changing in the next two years. Penix is coming in competing for the backup quarterback role. One that Heinicke has an inside track to already having built chemistry with his retained teammates and coaching staff.

Heinicke winning the backup job wouldn't be at all shocking. This just further points to how frustrating Atlanta's decision was to take a quarterback whose limitations are only going to be improved by learning on the job.

Penix as the third quarterback would be objectively hilarious for those outside of Atlanta. It also would be in some ways expected and not indicative of whether the team is right or wrong about Penix.

Atlanta opted to spend their 8th overall pick on a lottery ticket they are hoping to cash in two or three years from now. Penix has all of the time in the world to sit back, improve, and learn behind two great veterans. With that said, it still doesn't make the pick any easier to explain if you're truly invested in Cousins and believe you can win now.