Falcons tampering punishment coming this week, according to reports

The Falcons are gearing up to be punished for their violation of the NFL's tampering rules.
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

When reports first started surfacing about the Atlanta Falcons' interest in free agent QB Kirk Cousins it was becoming obvious that they could be breaking the NFL's tampering rules. I wrote about it the Sunday before the legal tampering period opened up and what do you know, they messed up.

Luckily, the team was able to land the prized free agent; nothing would be worse than breaking the rules, losing draft picks, and having nothing to show for it.

With that being said, it would have been great to have not called so much attention to yourself, or just not tamper at all. It is what it is though, no changing the past.

According to Adam Schefter, the Falcons are gearing up to be punished—along with the Philadelphia Eagles—this week. Expect to see fines and loss of draft picks. I wouldn't be shocked if that includes a first-round pick.

Falcons reportedly will be punished for tampering violations this week

It is time to hold your breath over the next number of days. If the Atlanta Falcons don't lose a first-round pick we should cheer because they broke a rule when pursuing the league's top free agent. The NFL is going to use them as a warning to other teams.

Tampering is something the NFL cannot stop. It will always happen because there are too many people you would have to micromanage to completely stop the violations. But what the league can do is hand down severe punishment to those who blatantly break the rules—like the Dirty Birds did.

In a different situation that involved Tom Brady and Sean Payton, the Miami Dolphins lost a first-round pick for contacting the player and coach while they were still under contract. Yes, it is a different situation but hindsight of the Falcons' situation makes things worse for them.

We landed the top free agent at the most important position. We also stole him from a team that wanted him back; the Vikings shouldn't be happy with what has happened and their voice could drive up the punishment.

All in all, this could get ugly! I have talked about Terry Fontenot making a blockbuster trade to avoid losing picks in next year's draft but it appears to be too late. Hopefully, the National Football League doesn't come down with a massive hammer and use Atlanta as a warning to the other 31 teams.

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