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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Falcons and Kirk Cousins tampering is ‘most blatant ever,’ Mike Florio claims

Atlanta signed Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal.

Sports analyst and insider for NBC Sports in Mike Florio has questioned the legitimacy of the Atlanta Falcons acquisition of former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins during this cycle of NFL free agency. However, his suspicions don’t deal with the obtaining of Cousins himself, but the prior conversations that the two parties had is where Florida believes tampering was involved.

To Florio, this wasn’t just any case of tampering, he even would go as far as to say that this scenario is “the most blatant case of tampering I’ve ever seen” and he has been in the sports media world for 23 years. He would say his thoughts on the show “What the Football w/Suzy Shuster & Amy Trask” while also expressing Cousins’ introductory press conference with the Falcons was an example.

“The Falcons pursuit of Kirk Cousins, to me, doing this 23 years, it’s the most blatant case of tampering I’ve ever seen,” Florio said. “Where Kirk Cousins at his introductory press conference admits he spoke to, and possibly met with, he might have blurted it out, that he met with the team’s head athletic trainer during the 52-hour negotiating window where you’re not supposed to talk to the player at all.”

Florio says there was “multiple levels of tampering” with Falcons

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) talks with teammates prior to their game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

There was no doubt that there was prior reports about Cousins being interested in playing for Atlanta and vice versa, but Florio believes there could have been conversation in the “52-hour negotiating window” where teams can’t talk to the player at all. Florio would also point out that there was “tampering within tampering” as Atlanta Falcons Director of Player Personnel in Ryan Pace brought in wide receiver Darnell Mooney to Atlanta as well.

“He talked to Ryan Pace the Director of Player Personnel presumably during the 52-hour window, and someone enlisted him to recruit Darnell Mooney from the Bears. So you’ve got tampering within tampering,” Florio said. “You’ve got multiple levels of tampering, and he just talks and he talked about it openly, like they just didn’t care. It was so blatant. And he said Kyle Pitts was recruiting him weeks in advance, if he did that at the behest of the team or with the knowledge of the team, that’s another tampering violation.”

Cousins with a fresh start in Atlanta

It remains to be seen if the Falcons will be penalized for tampering or even if the NFL will even investigate if there was a violation in the first place which there have not been any report of the sorts as of Thursday. However, Cousins going to the Falcons on a four-year, $180 million contract was a huge deal in free agency as he continues to be a productive quarterback in this league.

Last season for the Vikings, he threw for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five interceptions in eight games before he tore his Achilles on Oct. 29 where Minnesota was facing their NFC North divisional rivals in the Green Bay Packers. The 35-year old looks to rebound with a fresh new team that is filled to the brim with talent on offense like running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London, and tight end Kyle Pitts.

Besides revitalizing the quarterback position obtaining Cousins and trading away Desmond Ridder, they fired head coach Arthur Smith after the end of the season and hired Raheem Morris. Atlanta is heading into a new, exciting reboot as they try to improve off of a 7-10 record last season where they were third in the NFC South.

Zachary Weinberger_headshot

About the Author

Zachary Weinberger joined ClutchPoints in October 2023 as a Miami Heat reporter as well as an Associate Editor. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2022 after covering the school’s athletic programs since his freshman year at the FAU University Press, where he was a Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He then covered FAU Sports for The Palm Beach Post.

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