Michael Penix Jr. should not play for the Atlanta Falcons in 2024

NFL Network’s Marc Ross said that one of his draft hot takes Is that all six rookie quarterbacks from the 2024 NFL draft will start week one, yes, including Atlanta Falcons’ own Michael Penix Jr. With that came a mountain of feedback and controversy all centering around one thing: If Penix is playing week one, something has gone wrong with the plan that this move is centered around.

Ross goes on to explain that the circumstances surrounding Penix starting day one would not be because Penix beat out presumed starter Kirk Cousins through training camp, but that Cousins had not recovered from his season-ending Achilles injury yet. From the few videos we’ve seen of Cousins, it seems that he is progressing well, however, that does not mean that he will be ready for week one.

If so, that puts even more scrutiny on the large contract given to Cousins this off-season. The initial reasoning for the move, along with the Penix pick was to trust Cousins to be ready and available to lead a playoff-ready roster and allow Penix to develop behind the scenes. If Cousins can’t do that, this situation becomes much more confusing.

What if Penix, one of the more pro-ready prospects in this year’s draft, plays well in Cousins’ absence? Do you then put him back on the bench because of the money tied to Cousins?

This debacle has the potential to become unnecessarily difficult if it doesn’t play out as expected.

The best-case scenario is for Cousins to play out the full season, as he has for years before his Achilles, and Penix works on his game until an opportunity presents itself in a few years.

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