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Atlanta Falcons Penalized for Improper Pursuit of Kirk Cousins

by Moxieplay

Three months after signing Kirk Cousins to a $180 million contract at the start of the 2024 NFL free agency, the Atlanta Falcons are facing penalties. The NFL announced on Thursday that Atlanta had “improper contact” with Cousins and other free agents. As a result, the Falcons must forfeit a 2025 fifth-round draft pick and pay a $250,000 fine.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has been fined $50,000 for the violations, which included improper communications with wide receiver Darnell Mooney and tight end Charlie Woerner, two other 2024 additions.

According to the NFL’s statement, teams are allowed to negotiate all aspects of a player contract with a certified agent during the two-day negotiating period. However, direct contact between the player and any club employee or representative is prohibited. This includes discussing travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the Falcons acknowledged occurred with these players.

In simpler terms, Cousins and the other new Falcons players communicated with Atlanta during the negotiating period. As per CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones, these communications likely involved administrative errors like making travel arrangements after agreeing to terms on contracts.

The NFL began investigating a potential violation involving Cousins just days after the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback signed his four-year deal with Atlanta. Despite being a top free agent, Cousins did not visit any other teams before joining the Falcons.

After the penalties were announced, the Falcons issued a statement:

“We are pleased this review is complete. 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.”

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