Insider shares how Falcons can get out of Kirk Cousins-Michael Penix Jr. debacle soon

If Kirk Cousins is the present for the Atlanta Falcons, then Michael Penix Jr. is definitely their future.
Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons
Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons / CFP/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons did everything in their power to solve their quarterback issues this offseason. They signed Kirk Cousins in free agency before trading Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals. After getting Taylor Heinicke to take a pay cut, Atlanta then shocked the NFL world once again by using the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft on former Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

While Cousins appears to be the Falcons' present, Penix is the team's future. Although most people outside of Flowery Branch do not understand why Atlanta needs both quarterbacks at the same time, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio did outline one extreme scenario in which the Falcons can get out of the Cousins deal before it starts. It would require him not doing what their team doctors are saying.

Basically, Cousins would need to completely disregard what Atlanta says to do about rehabbing his injured Achilles. Since Cousins seems to do everything by the book, this is not happening. What could happen though is for Atlanta to effectively pivot off Cousins in favor of Penix if the Falcons' brass thinks the first-year pro out of Washington is ready for this to be his own team come 2025.

One would think Atlanta could find a reasonable trade partner for Cousins ahead of next NFL season.

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Since Atlanta will almost certainly be on the hook for $50 million for Cousins this year, all signs point toward them potentially trading him ahead of next offseason, if that is the direction they want to go in. Cousins is only owed $27.5 million in annual salary for 2025. The dead money hit would only be $37.5 million pre-June 1, but the Falcons would no longer be on the hook for any additional guarantees.

Of course, this all requires Penix becoming the Falcons' future sooner than expected. Truth be told, I expect that Cousins will be the Atlanta starter for at least the next two seasons. Come year three, we shall see. Keep in mind, Atlanta took a page out of the Green Bay Packers playbook. Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love had to wait three years before starting games for them. They had a plan.

While having first-round quarterbacks sit was a far more common trend up until 2008 when Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan brought a swift end to that, keep in mind how old and injury-prone Penix is. He is about to be 24 and has suffered a ton of knee injuries before in his playing career. If he is not starting for the Falcons until he is 27 or something, that might just be part of the Falcons' great plan.

All I know is Florio's one proposed loop hole to get out of the Cousins deal is never going to happen.

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