Kirk Cousins escapes embarrassment with recent NFL decision

Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The punishment for the Atlanta Falcons tampering when negotiating with Kirk Cousins has finally dropped. Despite rumors that it was expected to be significant, the Falcons were let off with what feels to be a warning.

A total of $300,000-dollars in fines and a 5th-round pick being the only lost assets is extremely surprising. Based on Kirk Cousins' comments alone after being signed by Atlanta it was expected the team at best would lose a day-two pick as well as face heavy fines.

It seems that perhaps those comments were taken out of context or couldn't fully be proven accurate. Losing a 5th-round pick is more of an inconvenience than a true punishment from the league. Day three picks are always guesses and Atlanta having one less selection next offseason isn't going to be to their detriment.

Now with the full context of the Kirk Cousins deal in focus, there is no question the move was worthwhile for Atlanta. Two seasons of Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder make it easy to overlook $180-million and one fifth-round pick.

If the Falcons had Cousins last season there is a clear argument to be made last year's team makes the playoffs. Kirk's contract as well as losing a 5th-round pick was the right decision, while it would have been ideal to avoid the latter.

From the initial explanation offered by Pelissero, the Falcons were fined for ridiculous reasons. They arranged travel for their players after the negotiating window opened. Essentially the Falcons agreed to terms when they were allowed to contact agents and followed their agreements up with travel arrangments.

This is against league rules as they can negotiate through the specific terms but not do anything beyond this until things officially open. It is a ridiculous rule that defies logic but does open the door to this fine and the loss of a draft pick.

For Kirk Cousins, this is a major win considering it seemed to be his comments that opened the door to the investigation. A worse punishment would have opened the door to more Kirk Cousins slander after an offseason of attention due to not only tampering allegations but the selection of Michael Penix Jr.

No question, that this result is a win for the Falcons and now allows them to put the offseason firmly behind them. Focusing on installing a new offensive system and quarterback they believe will finally end the playoff drought.