NFL Penalizes Falcons For Tampering Ahead Of Kirk Cousins Signing

Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout

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The NFL has penalized the Atlanta Falcons for a violation of the league's anti-tampering policy in relation to the signing of quarterback Kirk Cousins and other free agents in March, according to a official statement shared by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The Falcons will forfeit their original fifth-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft and pay a fine of $250,000, while general manager Terry Fontenot has personally been fined $50,000.

"The NFL today informed the Atlanta Falcons of the discipline being imposed for violations of the Anti-Tampering Policy related to the improper contact with prospective unrestricted free agent Kirk Cousins, [wide receiver] Darnell Mooney and [tight end] Charlie Woerner during the two-day negotiating period prior to the start of the 2024 League Year," the league said.

"While the policy permits clubs to engage with and negotiate all aspects of an NFL player contract with the certified agent of any prospective unrestricted free agent during the two-day negotiating period, any direct contact between the player and an employee or representative of the club is prohibited," the statement continued. "This includes discussion of travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the club acknowledges took place with regard to these players."

Cousins, who spent the past six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons in March. The 35-year-old suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in October, but shared clips of his remarkable recovery earlier in the offseason, after undergoing successful Achilles surgery on November 1.

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