Expectations Dialed back for Vikings + Tampering Outcome

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The Atlanta Falcons stand to lose a draft pick as a possible punishment for tampering with Kirk Cousins in March, but that doesn’t mean the Minnesota Vikings will gain a pick.

Expectations Dialed back for Vikings + Tampering Outcome

That’s the latest — and wise — theory from Star Tribune this week, as Andrew Krammer wrote about the eventual outcome of the Falcons’ doings in free agency.

Vikings QB Situation
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Cousins left the Minnesota Vikings eight weeks ago via free agency, and when he signed with the Falcons, he all but admitted to tampering. Cousins said at his introductory press conference in Atlanta, “There’s great people here. And it’s not just the football team. I mean, I’m looking at the support staff. Meeting — calling, yesterday, calling our head athletic trainer, talking to our head of P.R. I’m thinking, we got good people here. And that’s exciting to be a part of.”

Folks ran wild with the theory that Atlanta prematurely talked with Cousins, and if so, that would be classified as tampering, which obviously isn’t allowed.

Some even speculated that Minnesota would be awarded an additional pick(s), an effort led by ProFootballTalk.com. But about two months removed from the would-be infraction, that seems unlikely.

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Krammer wrote this week, “Whatever the punishment, I don’t believe it will directly impact the Vikings beyond possibly moving up a draft spot because the Falcons had to forfeit a pick or two. There is precedent to believe a punishment would solely impact the Falcons, like how the Dolphins forfeited multiple draft picks after the league found they tampered with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Sean Payton.”

Indeed, there is very little precedent for the affected team to get goodies as the result of a tampering investigation. At best, Minnesota could see a pick swap with Atlanta, probably in the middle rounds.

Cousins Critic Does
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“There seems to be a misconception that the Vikings could swap picks because that’s what the Cardinals and Eagles did for a tampering case over Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon. However, the Cardinals self-reported the violation and the two teams worked out a resolution. In this case, Cousins indicated at a news conference that he’d communicated with Falcons officials before it was allowed,” Krammer added.

On the fancy-but-misguided theory about Minnesota getting picks in a settlement, PFT’s Mike Florio wrote in April, “Maybe the Vikings are quietly holding out hope that the end result of the investigation regarding Atlanta’s blatant tampering with Cousins (and it was blatant, frankly) will result in a flip-flop of picks No. 8 and No. 11. (There’s no specific reason to think that will happen, but it’s not impossible that the league would select this sanction — and announce it literally five minutes before the draft starts.)”

kirk cousins
March 13, 2024. Newly signed Atlanta Falcons Quarterback K. Cousins sits down with Falcons Digital Producer Taylor Vismor to discuss his signing with the Falcons. Kirk talks about the exciting playmaking roster he is joining and what a move to Atlanta means to him and his family.

Florio’s spitballing never materialized in the 2024 NFL Draft and probably won’t in 2025.

If you’re a Vikings fan hoping for Atlanta’s comeuppance, it’s best to shift attention to pick subtractions from Atlanta, not pick additions to Minnesota.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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