Washington quarterback Michael Penix (QB08) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons’ decision to use their 2024 first-round pick on quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. just weeks after signing Kirk Cousins to a massive contract raised a lot of eyebrows.

Former NFL player Ross Tucker didn’t just think it was a bad move, he thinks it might be one of the worst decisions he’s seen an NFL team make in a very long time.

Tucker joined The Dan Patrick Show on Friday to discuss the first night of the 2024 NFL Draft and didn’t hold back when asked about the selection.

“When in doubt, in the NFL, in my experience, look for the decision-makers to make decisions that they believe is in their best interest for their job security, and/or job preservation. And I believe, at some point, the Falcons’ GM, Terry Fontenot, and the head coach, Raheem Morris, were talking and they realized, ‘Hey, we’re probably gonna be pretty good the next couple years, with Kirk Cousins. The NFC South’s not that great. We will be in the mix, maybe we’ll win the division, be in the playoffs. But if we get a guy like Penix now, then, Year 3, maybe Year 4, we have a succession plan in place,’ to the point where [owner] Arthur Blank isn’t gonna fire them before Penix has at least one year, maybe even two.

“So I think those guys, essentially, Dan, bought themselves a four-year runway, maybe even five. But a four-year runway with a couple years of Cousins, probably a couple years of Penix, and I think that’s a big reason why they did what they did.

“I think it’s selfish, and this is coming from a former player’s perspective, I think it’s borderline disrespectful.

“I think it’s one of the worst moves I’ve seen in a long time… I think it’s a selfish move by the GM and head coach, that’s my read on it from a player’s perspective.”

Expect the Penix draft pick and subsequent fallout to be a hot topic around Atlanta as they head into the 2024 NFL season.

[The Dan Patrick Show]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.