Atlanta Falcons may lose draft picks prior to Thursday's NFL Draft

Adam Schefter reported that the punishment, including loss of draft picks, for the Atlanta Falcons tampering violations will release this week, pointing toward punishment in the 2024 NFL Draft
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / David Eulitt/GettyImages

There isn't much doubt the Atlanta Falcons tampered when trying to get Kirk Cousins in their building—we even heard it from his mouth. Tampering violations are rampant every year but with this being such a high-profile player who is a quarterback, punishment will be handed down.

In his latest column, Adam Schefter of ESPN gave an update on where things stand with the investigation and it is not looking good for the Falcons. He said that punishment could be handed down this week and would involve draft picks. Considering the timing, the Falcons may lose picks in this week's draft.

Falcons may lose 2024 draft picks for tampering violations

Without knowing how the league is operating or what their intentions are when handing down punishment for tampering violations, every day that passes without an announcement is one day closer to knowing they won't lose a 2024 draft pick.

However, our hopes might be crushed in the next couple of days as Adam Schefter says he expects the punishment to be announced this week. Considering the timing, it sounds like the Falcons will be losing picks for this year's draft.

With that being said, "this week" could mean Saturday when the draft is coming to a close, but why would the NFL decide to announce it the same week as their biggest offseason event?

Draft picks are going to be part of the punishment, no doubt about it. At this point, I think we should be happy with the loss of a third-round pick. I truly believe losing a first-round pick is in the realm of possibilities.

Think about it from the league's perspective; they know every team is tampering and they cannot stop it. What they can do is dissuade teams from tampering with the top free agents like Kirk Cousins. The best way to do that is to come down with the harshest of harsh penalties.

Last year, we saw the Dolphins lose a first-round pick for tampering with two people they never even landed. The Chiefs were penalized for tampering with Jeremy Maclin nearly a decade ago and he was just a receiver who signed a $55 million deal.

This is a $180 million quarterback we are talking about. The NFL wants to stop any future team from deciding it is more valuable to tamper with a potential franchise-changing player with the potential loss of a mid-round pick compared to playing by the rules and risking losing the player to a re-signing or another team who decides the punishment for tampering is worth it.

To me, the only way to stop that is to make a statement by taking away a premium draft pick.

While I don't expect the Falcons to lose their eighth-overall pick, losing their second-round pick and future picks is a possibility. The best resolution would be swapping first-round picks with the Vikings on Thursday since it wouldn't hurt the team's draft plans as much as losing a second or third-round pick would.