NFL Announces Strips Falcons Of Draft Pick Following Kirk Cousins Tampering Investigation

After months of speculation, the NFL announced tampering punishments against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.

The league announced that it was stripping Atlanta of its 2025 fifth-round pick, while fining the organization $250,000 and general manager $50,000 for tampering with quarterback Kirk Cousins, receiver Darnell Mooney and tight end Charlie Woerner.

The Falcons violated the NFL’s rules regarding logistical and administrative contact, such as making travel plans after deals were agreed upon. The league didn’t find the Falcons made contact with players before the legal negotiating window opened.

“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 NFL said in a release. “This includes discussion of travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the club acknowledges took place with regard to these three players.”


Atlanta issued its own statement following the punishment:

“We are pleased this review is complete,” the Falcons said. “We cooperated fully with the league and its review, and appreciate the NFL’s thoroughness. As we do with every process, we will review how we operate and look for ways to improve.”

The NFL’s investigation into the Falcons stemmed from Cousins revealing that he had conversations with Atlanta’s head athletic trainer in the days prior to free agency began. This is against NFL league rules.

The NFL investigated the Philadelphia Eagles for potentially tampering with running back Saquon Barkley this spring but found no evidence.