Kirk Cousins has 'no beef' with Falcons despite team's surprising decision to draft Michael Penix


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Four-time Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins appeared surprised at the Atlanta Falcons’ decision to draft a quarterback in the first round just over a month after signing the veteran quarterback to a massive four-year contract.

The Cousins signing in free agency was viewed as a move for the Falcons to stabilize the quarterback position for at least the next couple of seasons. Quarterbacks Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke largely struggled to bring any consistency to the position last season. Instead of drafting a defensive player or bolstering te wide receiver room, the Falcons used the eighth overall draft pick on quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

On Tuesday, Cousins broke his silence on whether he was harboring any hard feelings about the team’s decision to essentially draft his replacement. 

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on the sideline during the second half of a game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit Jan. 7, 2024.  (Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“I don’t think there can be. I don’t think it’s helpful,” Cousins said on a recent episode of the “Bussin’ with the Boys” podcast when asked if any beef existed between him and the Falcons.

FALCONS’ MICHAEL PENIX JR. SELECTION AFTER KIRK COUSINS SIGNING ‘LITTLE BIT ODD,’ FORMER NFL COACH SAYS

Instead of focusing on “what he can’t control,” Cousins said his primary concern is doing what he can to help the Falcons win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

“We’re trying to win a Super Bowl, and it’s hard enough. It’s hard enough,” Cousins said. “Let’s all be on the same page and try and go win a Super Bowl.”

Photo shows Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr

Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr. (Getty Images/IMAGN)

Cousins also recalled a similar situation he was in three years ago when he was the Minnesota Vikings’ starting quarterback. Cousins said Klint Kubiak, the Vikings’ offensive coordinator at the time, gave him a heads-up that the team was considering drafting a quarterback. The Vikings ended up drafting Kellen Mond in the third round of the 2021 draft.

“This isn’t, like, a foreign concept,” Cousins said. “There’s an awareness that this is the NFL. Anything can happen.”

Kirk Cousins sidelined

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looks on from the sideline during the second half of a game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit Jan. 7, 2024.  (Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Falcons kick off organized team activities this week. Cousins’ 2023 campaign came to an abrupt end when he injured an Achilles during a Week 8 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Last week, Falcons coach Raheem Morris said Cousins is “pretty much full go” heading into the team’s offseason program.

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Cousins also said he sent Penix a text message congratulating him on his past success and made sure Penix had his phone number if he needed to get in touch with him.

“And then just congratulated him on an awesome college career,” Cousins said. “I lived it. It’s hard to do. And what he did is at the top of the top in terms of college success. So, just wanted to let him know that I have the utmost respect for what he’s done, and we’re ready to get to work. And I’m here if he needs me.”

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