No, the Falcons didn't draft Michael Penix in anticipation of tampering penalties

There have been plenty of theories espoused as to why the Falcons made quarterback Michael Penix Jr. the eighth overall pick in the draft. One of them has landed in my emailbox, several times over.

As the theory goes, the Falcons took a quarterback with a first-round pick now because they believe they won't have a first-round pick next year, due to their blatant tampering with Kirk Cousins.

It's an intriguing thought, but it's probably not accurate. First, we have no idea where the Falcons would be drafting in round one in 2025. Second, there's a long way to go until the next set of draft boards is set. Third, it's way too early to know whether the Falcons would lose a first-round pick for their tampering with Cousins. Finally, the potential loss of significant draft capital next year is all the more reason to use a top-10 pick on a player who can make an impact during, not after, Cousins's time as a starter.

The possibility also speaks to a level of strategizing that the Falcons didn't demonstrate when picking Penix. The move makes no sense, for any of many reasons we covered in the opening segment of Monday's PFT Live. They've undermined their fledgling relationship with Cousins, and they've put Penix in an awkward spot — especially with the suggestion that he might sit for four or five years.

There's no way they were next-leveling the 2024 draft by anticipating the impact of potential tampering penalties on their ability to draft Cousins's eventual replacement next year. They decided they wanted Penix, and they took him despite the various complications it will create for the franchise regarding their current and future franchise quarterbacks.