Falcons Fined $350K, Lose Fifth-Round Pick

After announcing the penalties levied against the Browns for their “Textgate” scandal, the NFL has also confirmed the discipline for the Falcons for piping artificial crowd noise into their home stadium. According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter links), the Falcons have been fined $350K, and will lose a fifth-round pick in 2016.

Per McClure (via Twitter), team president Rich McKay will also be suspended from the league’s competition committee, as Adam Schefter reported earlier today. That ban will begin on April 1, and McKay can’t be reinstated until at least June 30. As for the draft pick, McClure notes that if the team ends up holding multiple fifth-rounders, the higher pick will be taken away.

The Falcons’ former director of event marketing, Roddy White (not to be confused with the wide receiver of the same name), was found responsible for implementing the fake crowd noise at the club’s home games in 2013 and 2014. According to McClure (via Twitter), White will face an eight-week suspension if he gets a job with another team.

The penalty for the Falcons’ rule violations is perhaps a little harsher than the one the Browns received after GM Ray Farmer was found to have sent text messages to the sidelines during games. Cleveland was hit with a $250K fine, and Farmer will have to stay away from the team during the first four weeks of the regular season, but the Browns didn’t lose a draft pick.

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