Falcons tampering punishment could cost them dearly in 2024 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons will likely be punished for their obvious tampering violation with Kirk Cousins.
SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII – Feb 9
SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII – Feb 9 / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

Tampering is something every team does; the NFL simply can't keep up with thousands of individuals and who they are contacting.

Naturally, the league targets the highest-profile tampering violations and unfortunately for the Atlanta Falcons, they are the subject of that in 2024. After signing Kirk Cousins to a deal after the legal tampering period started in March, it was obvious that the rules were not followed to a tee.

In fact, the Sunday before the tampering window opened, I wrote about how the Falcons could be setting themselves up for a hefty fine.

Turns out things could be a lot worse than a simple fine—it could cost them in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Falcons could swap picks as punishment for tampering violations

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, proposed a possible punishment which includes the Atlanta Falcons swapping picks with the team they hurt by tampering—the Minnesota Vikings.

"Given the manner in which the NFL handled last year’s tampering by the Cardinals with former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, it’s impossible to rule out an announcement that drops just before the first round of the draft. The Falcons have the eighth pick in round one. The Vikings have the eleventh. What if the punishment is as simple as the Falcons and Vikings flip-flopping the two picks? The NFL set the precedent last year, with the sudden and unexpected news of the Cardinals-Eagles settlement. It would make sense for it to happen again, between the Falcons and the Vikings."

Mike Florio

Last season, the Arizona Cardinals were punished for contacting Jonathan Gannon at the wrong time by simply swapping mid-round picks with the Eagles. This was a mutual agreement between the two teams.

It is hard to imagine the Falcons not getting some kind of punishment at this point. I have been worried that a first-round pick could simply be taken away from them, much like what happened with the Miami Dolphins a year ago.

While that may seem harsh, the reality is that the Falcons blatantly broke a rule and the NFL will want to come down hard on the team to discourage future violations.

While swapping picks with the Vikings wouldn't be the end of the world, it would cost them the chance at the top defensive prospect in the draft. While both the Bears and Jets could go with offensive players, their boards are going to have defensive players at the top.

Best case scenario, the Falcons just get fined, but with the recent examples, it is highly unlikely that they won't be punished in the draft—whether this year or next.

More Falcons news: