HomeNewsFalcons Fine for Tampering with Kirk Cousins: Team Forfeits Draft Pick, Eagles...

Falcons Fine for Tampering with Kirk Cousins: Team Forfeits Draft Pick, Eagles Cleared

The Atlanta Falcons on Thursday docked a fifth-round selection in the 2025 draft and fined $250,000 for breaching the NFL’s anti-tampering rules relating to free agency signings, while the league cleared the Philadelphia Eagles of tampering when signing running back Saquon Barkley this summer.

The tampering charges for the Falcons were a consequence of “improper contact” with three players before their formal unrestricted free agency period: quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and tight end Charlie Woerner.

In addition to the team sanctions, the NFL penalized Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot $50,000.

Cousins said in his inaugural press conference that he had a conversation with the Falcons’ head trainer before 4 p.m. ET on March 13, the start of the new league year, after being signed to a four-year contract with a maximum value of $180 million on the first official day of free agency.

Within the first 52 hours of the new league year, teams may only communicate with agents about free agents; they cannot talk with players directly unless the player is representing himself and does not have an agent. Two days before the new league year began, Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney revealed the quarterback’s agreement to terms with the Falcons on social media.

“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,” according to a statement from the NFL.

“This includes a discussion of travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the club acknowledges took place about these three players.” Atlanta received three-year contracts for $39 million from Mooney and $12 million from Woerner.

The Falcons released a statement expressing their satisfaction with the completion of the study. We are grateful for the NFL’s meticulous investigation and for having fully cooperated with the league throughout the evaluation process. Reviewing our operations and seeking ways to improve is something we do with every step.

The NFL found insufficient evidence to support the finding that the Eagles broke the anti-tampering laws before signing Barkley.

In March, Barkley inked a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. James Franklin, Barkley’s former Penn State coach, recommended that Howie Roseman, general manager, contact Barkley personally during the “legal tampering” period to convince him to play for Philadelphia, a city with a sizable Nittany Lions fan base.

At the time, the Eagles said that all of their recruiting deals go via the agency and denied any improper contact with Barkley. According to Barkley, Franklin “misinterpreted” the Eagles’ recruitment process.

“In coming to this conclusion, the league reviewed phone logs, text messages, and other documents related to Philadelphia’s free agency and the decision to sign Barkley,” according to a statement from the league. Howie Roseman, Nick Sirianni, Barkley, and Penn State head coach James Franklin were among the several organization members questioned by the NFL. The league has the option to restart the inquiry, as is done with each review, if new information is found.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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