Perhaps the most shocking move of the first round at the NFL Draft Thursday night was the Atlanta Falcons' selection of quarterback Michael Penix Jr with the eighth overall pick. After all, the ink has barely dried on the four year, $180 million contract ($100 million guaranteed) the team gave former Viking Kirk Cousins.

The team insists that Cousins is their starting quarterback, with General Manager Terry Fontenot even going as far as to say Penix may 'sit for four or five years' before taking over as the starter. This notion seems hard to believe for a couple of reasons.

First, Penix is considered on the 'older' end of NFL rookie quarterbacks and he won't be any younger in four or five years. Second, Cousins' deal becomes more or less voidable after two seasons, meaning the Falcons could decide to move on from him before the 2026 season.

Cousins left Minnesota after six seasons in which he was paid $185 million for exactly one playoff win. He adamantly claimed that it 'wasn't about the money,' but he happily took a giant pile of it to move his family to Atlanta.

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
Photo by Jonathan Bachman via Getty Images)

I personally think Cousins took for granted the setup he had in Minnesota. Entire drafts, rosters and coaching hires were centered around surrounding Cousins with the firepower to compete for a Super Bowl. The Vikings had numerous chances to do just what the Falcons did and draft a 'quarterback of the future' but instead used their resources to benefit Cousins.

Now Kirk is in Atlanta, still extremely rich and presumably not upset about the $300 million in the bank that he has earned in his NFL career. However, I wonder if his eyes have been opened in the last 24 hours to just how good he had it in Minnesota.

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