Falcons Docked 2025 Fifth-Round Pick For Tampering Violation

The Eagles will not face punishment following the NFL’s investigation into the Saquon Barkley signing. In the case of the Falcons, however, discipline has been handed down.

The league announced on Thursday that the team has been docked its 2025 fifth-round pick as result of improper communication with quarterback Kirk Cousinswideout Darnell Mooney and tight end Charlie WoernerThe Falcons have also been fined $250K and general manager Terry Fontenot will pay a $50K fine.

“While the [Anti-Tampering] 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,” a league statement reads (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport).

“This includes discussion of travel arrangements or other logistical matters, which the club acknowledges took place with regard to these three players.”

Indeed, Rapoport’s colleague Tom Pelissero notes communication related to travel took place within the two-day negotiating window for the three players in question. They had already legally agreed to terms by that point, a key factor in the league’s decision to issue a penalty which is lighter than those previously imposed in other circumstances. Still, the fact Atlanta has been disciplined while the Eagles have not falls in line with the previous expectation on the outcome of their respective investigations.

Cousins has publicly stated he spoke with Falcons medical personnel before his deal was official; he also acknowledged that he offered to help recruit Mooney prior to his contract being on the books. Cousins ultimately signed a four-year $180MM contract while Mooney inked a $39MM pact covering the next three seasons. Both players will be key figures in Atlanta’s offense moving forward.

“We are pleased the review is complete,” a Falcons statement reads. “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.”

As a result of today’s decision, Atlanta will move forward with five 2025 draft picks. The team has its own selection in each of the first four rounds, as well as a seventh-round pick from the Rams. The Falcons are not currently projected to receive any compensatory picks.

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