NFL removes draft pick from Falcons for tampering with Kirk Cousins


Kirk Cousins ​​will cost the Falcons more than $100 million guaranteed on his contract.

The NFL stripped Atlanta of its 2025 fifth-round pick on Thursday morning for violating the league’s tampering policy during its courtship of Cousins.

The team was also fined $250,000, while general manager Terry Fontenot was fined $50,000.

The Falcons had “inappropriate contact” with Cousins, wide receiver Darnell Mooney and tight end Charlie Woerner during the negotiating period before the official start of free agency, according to the NFL.

The NFL has stripped the Falcons of a fifth-round pick for tackling Kirk Cousins. Dale Zanin-USA Today Sports

“While the policy allows clubs to address and negotiate all aspects of an NFL player’s contract with the authorized agent of any potential unrestricted free agent during the two-day negotiation period, any direct contact between the player and an employee or representative of the club is prohibited,” the NFL said in a statement. “Forbidden.”

He added: “This includes discussing travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the club acknowledges have occurred in relation to these three players.”

The NFL also ended a separate investigation into tampering with the Eagles’ signing of Saquon Barkley and found insufficient evidence to punish them.

Last month, Cousins ​​claimed that “there’s not much out there” regarding the tampering investigation, but the quarterback himself admitted in March during his introductory press conference that Kyle Pitts had been recruiting him for “a few weeks.”

Cousins, 35, left the Vikings after six seasons to sign a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons.

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Kirk Cousins ​​pitches in Falcons OTAs on June 3, 2024. Dale Zanin-USA Today Sports

However, he was reportedly shocked when Atlanta surprisingly selected quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

“I think you’re reminded again that there are things you can control and there are a lot of things you can’t control, so let’s deal with reality and realize that fact and then become a steward and not an owner.” Cousins ​​said Last month on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast.

“So I think I have to supervise what comes my way and control what I can control, which is what the host does, but the host doesn’t worry about what he can’t control. The owner does…so I have to supervise this and do what I always did it as a player and let the chips fall where they may.

Darnell Mooney during Falcons OTAs on June 3, 2024. Dale Zanin-USA Today Sports

Mooney, 26, signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Falcons that includes a $26 million guarantee after four years with the Bears.

Forner, also 26, received a three-year, $12 million deal from Atlanta with $6.57 million guaranteed after four seasons with the 49ers.

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