Kirk Cousins in Falcons gear

Kirk Cousins (Photo via @kirkcousins/Instagram)
The Atlanta Falcons are heading into next season with a new star quarterback in Kirk Cousins, but the deal that saw him switch teams might cost them a lot more than they bargained for.

The Falcons were accused of illegally tampering with the QB before he signed his four-year deal in March, and they could be in serious trouble as the NFL Draft approaches.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the team could face more severe punishment than the Philadelphia Eagles, who fielded similar accusations after they signed running back Saquon Barkley. Schefter noted that the NFL could reach a conclusion by this week.

The NFL’s investigation into alleged tampering charges against the Falcons for their involvement with then-free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Eagles for their involvement with then-free-agent running back Saquon Barkley is ongoing and could reach a conclusion as early as this week, per sources,” the insider wrote on Monday morning.

Sources believe the discipline, which is likely to involve draft picks, is expected to be more severe for the Falcons.”

Past examples of punishment for such infractions have been referenced.

The Miami Dolphins were found to have tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton from 2019 to 2022 and lost their 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. The team’s owner and another executive were also hit with fines.

The Kansas City Chiefs lost a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick after tampering with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The team, GM, and head coach all received fines.

Kirk Cousins Snitched On The Falcons

Kirk Cousins agreed to a four-year deal worth $180 million with the Atlanta Falcons just over an hour into the NFL’s two-day legal negotiating window last month. During his introductory press conference two days later, Cousins sold the team out, admitting that he had contact with tight end Kyle Pitts and a Falcons trainer before the league’s new year kicked off, which amounts to illegal tampering per NFL rules.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio has suggested that Cousins’ former team, the Minnesota Vikings, could benefit from the investigation by being made to switch first-round picks.

The Vikings are picking at No.s 11 and 23 overall in the upcoming draft, while the Falcons are on the board at No. 8.

We should know the NFL’s decision before the first round begins this Thursday.