Kirk Cousins Publicly Addresses Falcons' Michael Penix Jr. Decision For First Time

Cousins was asked about the situation during a podcast appearance.
Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
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The ramifications from the Atlanta Falcons' decision to draft Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth pick in the 2024 NFL draft will be felt for years to come. In the immediate, it is a bit of a tricky situation for Kirk Cousins to navigate.

Teams draft replacements for key players all the time, so it isn't really about the Falcons looking to replace Cousins right after signing him. Atlanta's actions, however, are contradictory in a frustrating way. The franchise gave Cousins $180 million to come in and take a talented roster to the next level. Then, instead of using what they must hope will be their last high draft pick in a long time to secure more talent in pursuit of winning games with Cousins, the Falcons took Penix Jr.— who, under the most ideal circumstances, will not be contributing to winning efforts for at least three years.

It would be understandable if that bothered Cousins, and reports emerged in the immediate aftermath that he was disappointed with Atlanta's choice. However, he did reach out to Penix Jr. after the draft and express his excitement in working with the former Washington quarterback. On Tuesday, he addressed the situation for the first time publicly and hammered home that he was going to be a good teammate about it all.

Appearing on the Barstool Sports podcast "Bussin' With The Boys," Cousins was asked if he had any negative feelings towards the Penix Jr. decision. He said he did not, because it isn't helpful, and all he wants to do is win. Starting at the 1:31:55 mark below:

"No, I don't think there can be," said Cousins. I don't think it's helpful. We're trying to win a Super Bowl and it's hard enough, you know what I mean? It's hard enough. Let's all be on the same page and let's go try to win a Super Bowl."

It doesn't come as any surprise that Cousins has a positive perspective on the situation. Anybody who's followed his career or even just watched Netflix's "Quarterback" series knows that Cousins can find the bright side in basically any circumstance. His extended speech about his Michigan State days earlier in the interview shows as much.

It doesn't make the Falcons' decision any better, of course. The opportunity cost will be felt for years to come even if Penix Jr. works out. But Atlanta, at least, doesn't have to worry about Cousins showing up and putting in the work regardless.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.