Monday, May 20, 2024

Not a draft shock? 3 teams tried trading into top 10 for Michael Penix Jr. before Falcons took QB, per report

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The biggest surprise of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft was when the Atlanta Falcons selected former Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 overall. The same Atlanta Falcons team that gave former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins a four-year, $180 million contract back in free agency.

A top-10 pick can change the trajectory of your franchise, but instead of addressing a pressing need, the Falcons employed a variation of the “Packers method,” where they drafted and will stash a quarterback for potentially multiple years. The most shocking part of this selection was that it occurred at No. 8. Couldn’t the Falcons have found a trade partner to move down a few spots? Well, maybe not.

According to James Palmer, the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders all attempted to trade into the top 10 for Penix. The Falcons were apparently not the only team high on the Washington product. 

It’s also worth mentioning that two of these three pursuers have “solidified” starters. Geno Smith won Comeback Player of the Year in 2022 with the Seahawks, who also just traded for Sam Howell this offseason. As for the Saints, they signed Derek Carr to a four-year, $150 million contract that contained $100 million in guarantees last offseason. 

Cousins was left “shocked” and “disappointed” by Atlanta’s decision to take a quarterback, according to NFL Media. While the situations aren’t exactly the same given that this was a top-10 selection and Cousins isn’t a Falcons franchise legend, it does bring back memories of when the Packers selected Jordan Love with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with Aaron Rodgers still on the roster. What happened next? Rodgers went to his pantry, poured about four fingers of tequila and then won two straight NFL MVPs. The Falcons would be fine with those same results from Cousins. 

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