"Same page" comments from Kirk Cousins in March feel much different now

The most consequential remarks from the Kirk Cousins introductory press conference with the Falcons relate to his admissions regarding multiple apparent instances of tampering by his new team. As it relates to last week's still-stunning decision by Atlanta to take quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick in the draft, something else Cousins said feels a little different now.

“When the owner, General Manager, head coach, and quarterback are on the same page, that’s when you have really a chance to go win a Super Bowl,” Cousins said. (Thanks to the reader who reminded me of those words.) “As I looked at the Atlanta Falcons, I believe strongly that the owner, head coach, General Manager, and quarterback can all be on the same page. And that’s exciting for me, and so that’s why I’m thrilled to be here.”

Clearly, the owner, G.M., head coach, and Cousins weren't on the same page last Thursday. They hid the whole damn book from him until they were on the clock and decided to pick Penix.

If Cousins is miffed, that's likely the main reason for it. He was led to believe the owner, G.M., coach, and quarterback were on the same page, with the goal of winning a Super Bowl. Then, instead of using the eighth overall pick on a player who can help Cousins do that, the Falcons laid the foundation for an eventual Cousins succession plan.

This is where the reality that every NFL team is a big machine with interchangeable parts clashes with the fact that the parts in the machine are human beings. The starting quarterback, if any player on the team, merits consideration.

Some have compared the Falcons' decision to pick Penix to the Jets a year ago, if they'd selected a quarterback in the first round after trading for Aaron Rodgers. The difference is that Rodgers was clearly leaving the Packers. His options were retirement or the Jets. Cousins could have stayed in Minnesota.

Would he have stayed in Minnesota?

Most of us have had, at one time or another, that sinking "what have I done?" feeling after making a big decision that can't be undone. Even with $100 million guaranteed over the next three years, Cousins might be thinking that — and he might be plotting a course to undoing it, maybe as soon as next year.

For all players, the situation is a reminder that the team will ALWAYS do what it believes is in the organization's best interests. If the move also happens to also be in your best interests, that's a coincidence at best.