NFL Looking into Alleged Tampering by Falcons During Pursuit of Kirk Cousins

kirk cousins
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons

Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) first pointed it out on Wednesday afternoon, and we helped to spread the good word, that Kirk Cousins’ accidentally snitched on the Atlanta Falcons for breaking the league’s tampering rules while pursuing him in free agency.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone, when Dan Graziano (ESPN) dropped a report saying that the NFL is investigating the Atlanta Falcons on charges that they breached the NFL tampering policy during their free agency pursuit of Cousins.

It happened during a very eventful introductory press conference, which was held shortly after he signed a $100 million (in guarantees) deal with his new team. According to the rules, it really wasn’t questionable.

What did Kirk Cousins say that launched this investigation?

Cousins wasn’t allowed to communicate directly with the Falcons prior to Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. CDT. But he told reporters yesterday that he had talked directly to the Atlanta training staff on Tuesday. [Read More: Cousins snitches on Falcons for Tampering]

“There’s great people here, and it’s not just the football team. I mean, I’m looking at the support staff. Meeting — calling, yesterday, calling our head athletic trainer, talking to our head of PR. I’m thinking, we’ve got good people here. And that’s exciting to be a part of.”

Kirk Cousins during Falcons introductory press conference

If found guilty — which I don’t know how they wouldn’t be now that the NFL is looking into this — Atlanta could pay a hefty toll for these charges. In 2015, there was a similar situation in Kansas City, when Andy Reid accidentally admitted to tampering with Jeremy Maclin. It cost the Chiefs a 3rd round pick in 2016 and a 7th rounder in 2017 (along with a $250K fine).

Related: Harrison Smith Agrees to Contract Restructure to Stay with Vikings

Depending on how egregious the NFL’s findings are, I’d imagine the Falcons would receive a harsher penalty than what the Chiefs were back then. Jeremy Maclin was a mid-tier wide receiver. Cousins was the #1-rated and highest paid free agent on the entire market. He set 2024 offseason free agency in motion. Every team in the NFL was waiting for that deal to be done.

But no matter how significant the penalty, the Vikings will not benefit directly from it. Any draft picks the Falcons were to lose would not go to Minnesota. So no, the league will not for them to swap their #8 pick for the Vikings #11 pick, as punishment for tampering with Kirk Cousins, like I have seen suggested. Still, it’s nice to see some justice served.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: