NFL insider floats idea of Falcons trading Kirk Cousins before the season

They wouldn't... would they?
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This past weekend saw the Atlanta Falcons take the most bizarre of swings when they selected Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at no. 8 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Then, general manager Terry Fontenot proceeded to try and back his decision. No matter how he spun it, there's no way fans were going to fully buy into what he was selling. This team should have gone a different direction, and everybody knows that to be true.

What's done is done, though, and Penix is a Falcon. Fontenot did recently say that he doesn't see Penix sitting four or five years. So, where does that leave Kirk Cousins, whom the Falcons signed to a huge, 4-year deal?

There's no way the Falcons would entertain trading Cousins anytime soon, right?

Could the Falcons trade Kirk Cousins after drafting Michael Penix Jr.?

Might a Cousins trade actually happen? If so, when? NBC Sports' Mike Florio at least floated the idea of a Cousins trade happening this year, citing specific details of his contract:

"Cousins might decide he wants out," Florio write. "Technically, he could be traded after June 1 with $12.5 million in dead money this year and $37.5 million in 2025. If traded after the season, the charge in 2025 would be $37.5 million; his cap hit if on the team next year is due to be $40 million."

A trade seems rather ridiculous, especially since Cousins has yet to even play for the Falcons, but Florio thinks Atlanta might have outsmarted itself.

"There’s no way Penix will sit, as G.M. Terry Fontenot has suggested, for four or five years. It’s three at the very most, one at a minimum (barring injury to Cousins). The most likely is two. While Cousins has a no-trade clause, he’d surely consider waiving it for a chance to play elsewhere — if Penix will be taking over then."

The cap obviously makes it extremely difficult for the Falcons to pull off a Cousins trade. It would have to be a situation almost reminiscent of the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson. But, could things actually get that bad between the two sides? Wilson and the Broncos were a totally different story. Cousins seems to be valued and wanted in Atlanta, while Wilson? That ship sailed.

Again, it seems very unlikely, but for Florio to even bring this up is worth mentioning. No one knows what the future holds, but one thing we do know for sure: the quarterback situation in Atlanta is going to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future.