How will Atlanta approach the quarterback position in camp and preseason action?

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

The Atlanta Falcons' management of their quarterbacks this preseason will be put under a microscope. Drafting Micheal Penix Jr. 8th overall with Kirk Cousins on the roster is inviting league-wide attention and speculation as to how the quarterback position will be managed.

While some hot take shows and those from outside Atlanta may already have Penix Jr. winning the job in 2024 that is far from the case. Money is what runs the league and looking at the contracts Kirk Cousins is going to be this team's starter no matter what the level of play is in camp and the preseason.

Only two things can change this fact Cousins suffering an injury or turning into Desmond Ridder overnight. Barring either of these developments this is Cousins' team and the preseason snaps are going to reflect that.

This isn't to say there is not a path to Penix winning the job in the next two seasons but rather to point out the reality of the situation. You are going to incur a horrible cap penalty the next two seasons if you move off Kirk Cousins and start Penix Jr.

This leaves you with the obvious decision of embracing Cousins and hoping his level of play maintains for the next two years while you fully evaluate Michael Penix Jr. and allow the rookie to adjust to the league. It isn't the ideal use of an expensive rookie contract but given the situation they are currently in it is the only sensical conclusion.

Micheal Penix Jr. is going to be often called for by frustrated fans, anytime Cousins misses a throw or turns the ball over. What the front office understands that some fans do not, however, is the fact that once benched there is no going back to Kirk Cousins.

If you make the wrong call and Penix isn't ready or an upgrade over the veteran jobs are going to be lost. This is true whether Atlanta makes this call in year one or year three for the quarterback. They opened themselves up to criticism and losing job security based on how this plays out.

Kirk Cousins is this team's starter heading into camp and the preseason and nothing done in meaningless drills or practice games is going to change that. It will take an injury or an unreal drop-off from Cousins for Michael Penix Jr. to get his shot.