NFL insider highlights Patrick Mahomes’ role in Falcons’ Michael Penix Jr. pick

Michael Penix Jr., left, Patrick Mahomes, center, and Kirk Cousins, right
Michael Penix Jr., left, Patrick Mahomes, center, and Kirk Cousins, right

When the Atlanta Falcons drafted quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, people were surprised. The team signed free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract that included $100 million in guarantees.

Why would the Falcons select a quarterback to sit behind Cousins after giving him $100 million guaranteed this off-season? The Falcons supposedly didn't want to miss out on the chance of missing out on the next 'Patrick Mahomes.'

On Pat McAfee's Show, NFL insider Albert Breer discussed Falcons GM Terry Fontenot's decision not to lose Michael Penix Jr. in the draft and the team's wasted opportunity with Mahomes.

"Terry Fontenot the general manager there was in New Orleans in 2017 when Patrick Mahomes came out, and I'm sure you know, Pat, Sean Payton was very, very high as were all the Saints people on Patrick Mahomes," Breer said. "And they felt like the reason why they lost Patrick Mahomes that year is because word of their interest got out."
"So for the Falcons people for Terry Fontenot who had come from the Saints. Like, ‘if we like one of these quarterbacks, we can't tell anybody, we got to sit there at eight, we got to pretend that we're taking Dallas Turner or Byron Murphy or Malik Nabers or someone else."

Terry Fontenot said the team had the Green Bay approach upon drafting Michael Penix Jr.

Michael Penix Jr. during the 2024 NFL Combine
Michael Penix Jr. during the 2024 NFL Combine

When the Green Bay Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft while trading up for him while still having Aaron Rodgers, it left many scratching their heads.

Rodgers won back-to-back MVPs after the team drafted Love, but left the team last year, paving the way for Love to start. Love ended up bringing the Packers to the playoffs.

Shortly after the 2024 NFL Draft, Terry Fontenot was asked about drafting Michael Penix Jr. in the first round of the draft. He referred to his team selecting Penix Jr. as the Green Bay model, stating they were thinking about the future and how Penix Jr. can help them when it's his time.

"I think you have to think like that," said Fontenot. "If we see a player that we believe can be a franchise QB at any point, then you have to bring that player in because we're talking about the next four-to-five years plus."

At least it doesn't seem like there will be a QB battle in Atlanta this season.

With the team paying Cousins $100 million guaranteed, he will very likely be their starter over the next two to three seasons.

What do you think about the Falcons selecting Michael Penix Jr. in the first round?

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Edited by Krutik Jain
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