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HomeSportAtlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank ‘Very Supportive’ of Kirk Cousins, Michael Penix Jr.

Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank ‘Very Supportive’ of Kirk Cousins, Michael Penix Jr.

by News7

During the 2024 NFL Draft, video surfaced of Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot conversing with owner Arthur Blank after selecting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick.

Fontenot’s hands were moving, speaking as much with them as with his mouth. Blank stared and listened.

Some took the interaction out of context, with Fontenot insisting it likely had to do with the Falcons’ plans to maneuver the draft board the rest of the night.

Atlanta held discussions pre-draft, committing to the idea of trying to move back into the first round regardless of who it selected with its first pick.

Thus, after turning in the card with Penix’s name on it, the Falcons called every team, setting thresholds for what they were — and weren’t — willing to give up.

This, Fontenot says, is when the cameras turned on.

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“I was probably telling him, ‘If we’re here, we think we can get to here. To get this particular player, we’re going to have to give up a future [No. 1] and this for that. And if we get to this spot, it’s a different category of players. Now we can get it done for this,’” Fontenot said.

“So, I was probably talking to him about those particular things. That’s what I would assume. But we have so many conversations.”

In essence, the scene had nothing to do with the Falcons’ controversial decision to select Penix just a month and a half after signing Cousins to a four-year, $180-million contract that includes $90 million guaranteed in the first two seasons.

Prior to the start of the offseason’s transactional period, Blank moved CEO Rich McKay away from football activities, eliminating the middleman between he and the team’s decision makers.

Fontenot and previous head coach Arthur Smith reported to McKay, who reported to Blank. Now, Fontenot and Morris report directly to Blank.

And through an offseason centered around cementing both Atlanta’s short- and long-term future under center, Blank has backed the team’s top decision makers.

“Arthur is very supportive,” Fontenot said. “He was very supportive going through free agency in regards to Kirk Cousins, an investment we made there. He’s very excited about Kirk. He’s very excited about Michael Penix.

“We obviously talk about everything, and he’s very, very excited about that. We’re fully aligned, and he’s fully supportive. He’s been very supportive and very excited about everything.”

The Falcons haven’t made the playoffs in six years, a fact Blank is committed to changing — and he’s fully behind Morris and Fontenot’s quarterback decisions and how they translate to accomplishing that feat.

Source : Sports Illustrated

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