Kirk Cousins Is Reportedly Unhappy

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The Minnesota Vikings made two splash moves in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft, trading up for J.J. McCarthy and selecting Alabama’s pass-rusher Dallas Turner with the 17th overall pick. The duo replaces the two most significant offseason departures, Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter. Both left in free agency, leaving a need at the two prominent spots.

Kirk Cousins Is Reportedly Unhappy

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After six seasons of solid quarterback play in Minnesota, Cousins exited the building and moved to Atlanta. The Falcons invested big into the most important position, handing the veteran a four-year contract worth $185 million with $100 million fully guaranteed. After years of struggling QB play from aging Matt Ryan, young and overwhelmed Desmond Ridder, and gutsy but limited veteran Taylor Heinicke, it was sensible to fix the weakness that was holding the franchise down.

Because of the increased production on offense, the Falcons elevated themselves to the pole position in the NFC South. Winning the division secures a home playoff game, and a postseason run is realistic. They just need to build the team around the signal caller.

Well, Falcons general manager Fontenot doesn’t think about improving the team’s chances in 2024 by selecting an additional weapon or some help on the defensive side of the ball. Instead, he picked Cousins’ successor.

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Michael Penix Jr. out of Washington went much earlier than anyone expected, with the eighth overall pick. Literally, every defensive player and wideout Rome Odunze were still available, just like many offensive linemen that could’ve helped keep Cousins clean. A strange move to spend a high draft picks six weeks after signing Cousins.

To nobody’s surprise, the veteran wasn’t happy about the move. According to head coach Raheem Morris, they called their new captain while they were on the clock. He also mentioned that the Green Bay model worked, so sitting a quarterback for years before he is forced to see the field worked for Jordan Love, but Penix is a different prospect.

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He will turn 24 in a couple of weeks and isn’t as raw a player as Love was in 2020. If the timeline is the same, considering the Packers were mentioned as the blueprint and considering Cousins has some guaranteed money left in 2026, Penix would be 27 years old when he first steps onto a football field.

It is a weird way to start a new era of Falcons football with a new head coach and quarterback. Since Cousins ditched the Vikings for Atlanta, his frustration is no longer Minnesota’s problem.

There will be some conversations in the next few years because Vikings fans and Falcons fans will compare their teams’ success with and without Cousins.

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Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up before the Ohio State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Penix and McCarthy will also be compared because Cousins’ new team passed on the Michigan man. It is a fascinating storyline to follow in the near future.

Unless the NFL moves the game to London, the two franchises will meet in the 2024 season, presumably in U.S. Bank Stadium. One of the nine planned home games will take place overseas.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt