Kirk Cousins got 'no heads up' on Falcons' plan to draft quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Days after Kirk Cousins threw out the first pitch at a Braves game, the Falcons threw some high heat at their new franchise quarterback.

And Cousins didn't see it coming.

After scattered reports emerged regarding Cousins being surprised by the team's decision to take quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick in the 2024 draft, his agent provided a statement to NFL Media.

"Yes, it was a big surprise," Mike McCartney said. "We had no idea this was coming. The truth is the whole league had no idea this was coming. We go not heads up. Kirk got a call from the Falcons when they were on the clock. That was the first we heard. It never came up in any conversation."

It wasn't a complete lightning strike. The Falcons did their homework on Penix. He visited the Falcons. During Thursday's PFT Live, we mused about the possibility of Penix to Atlanta.

So it shouldn't have been a complete and total surprise for Cousins and McCartney. And at least the Falcons called Cousins while they were on the clock. That's more than what Aaron Rodgers got four years ago, when the Packers traded up in round one to take Jordan Love.

Cousins has $90 million fully guaranteed at signing, along with another $10 million that becomes fully guaranteed in March 2025. Still, with Cousins supposedly willing to do all he can to win a championship in Atlanta, the Falcons didn't help him by not taking a player who will actually be, you know, playing while Cousins is.

That's the bigger issue here. It was an opportunity to improve now, not later. The Falcons opted for later.

It also puts a little extra heat on Cousins. Maybe (and I'm not saying this sarcastically, given Cousins's comments last year on the Netflix Quarterback series) it will get Cousins to work on Tuesdays. Basically, it's a red-hot poker that gets him to fend off Penix. That's something Cousins never had to worry about in Minnesota.

Not that the Vikings didn't try. In 2021, they were ready to take Justin Fields until they were jumped by the Bears. Last week, coach Kevin O'Connell said that he basically has had to talk the team away from other quarterbacks over the past two years as well.

The bottom line is that the drafting of Penix ends the Cousins honeymoon in Atlanta. At a time when everything was awesome, this move becomes a bucket of ice water on Tim McCarver, to continue with the whole Braves thing.

So don't expect to see Kirk at many more Braves games. It's time for him to hold off a top-10 pick who won't be content to sit for two or three years. If it gets Cousins to work even harder, it's a win of sorts for the Falcons — even if it has pissed off their short-term franchise quarterback.