There’s an Update on the Kirk Cousins Tampering Ordeal

Free Agency
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s “maybe later” for the Atlanta Falcons and any punishment involving Kirk Cousins tampering.

There’s an Update on the Kirk Cousins Tampering Ordeal

Cousins left the Minnesota Vikings six 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.”

Kirk Cousins
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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.

Theories ran rampant that Atlanta could be punished before the draft, but that sentiment was sidelined on Tuesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “From the NFL: The league’s review into the Falcons and Eagles potential tampering is ongoing and will not conclude this week. If there are draft picks involved, sounds like it’ll be next year’s.”

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Because the Vikings were adversely affected by the Falcons’ alleged deeds, some Vikings fans believed a pick swap could be the result of Atlanta’s tampering. That was never likely to occur, though, as teams found guilty of tampering usually get punished — not a goodie bag handed to the other team.

Still, if Atlanta and Minnesota hashed out some type of agreement to settle the matter, it won’t be done before Thursday’s draft. It’s essentially postponed.

kirk cousins
March 13, 2024. Newly signed Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Kirk 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.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell even acknowledged the tampering at the NFL Combine before Cousins signed in Atlanta. “The combine gave everybody else an opportunity, whether they’re supposed to be or not, to maybe have some conversations,” he told Rich Eisen in March.

Meanwhile, ProFootballTalk‘s Mike Florio led the charge earlier this month, suggesting that Minnesota could benefit from the tampering punishment. Florio wrote, “Or 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.)”

Cousins Critic Does
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Florio’s hypothesis certainly won’t materialize in time for the draft — and probably won’t boost the Vikings at all. Ultimately, sometime down the road, the Falcons will likely be docked some sort of draft capital, and that will be that.

Minnesota is scheduled to make nine picks in the draft between Thursday and Saturday.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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