Falcons Lose Draft Pick, Fined $300k Over Cousins Tampering Violation

The NFL made its decision today on how to punish the Atlanta Falcons over its tampering violations involving new quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The team will forfeit its original fifth-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, and pay a $250,000 fine. Also, Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot has been fined $50,000.

The NFL says the team violated its Anti-Tampering Policy, claiming “improper contact with prospective free agents” Cousins, Darnell Mooney (wide receiver), and Charlie Woerner (tight end) during the two-day negotiating period before the start of the 2024 League Year. The NFL says direct contact between players and team employees or representatives of the team are prohibited, and this includes discussions of “travel arrangements or other logistical matters,” which the NFL says the Falcons admitted happened with Cousins, Mooney, and Woerner.

In a team statement on the matter, the Falcons said: “We are pleased this review is complete. We cooperated fully with the league and it’s 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 Philadelphia Eagles, another NFL team that was targeted by the league over tampering allegations involving Saquon Barkley, was not penalized.