The Latest on the Kirk Cousins Tampering Situation

MLB: Texas Rangers at Atlanta Braves
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Back in March, Kirk Cousins signed a new contract with the Atlanta Falcons, who pulled him away from the Minnesota Vikings.

The signing meant that, for the first time since Cousins headed to Minnesota in 2018, the Vikings would need to find a new Week 1 starting QB. However, the veteran’s contract in Atlanta was quickly met with controversy as a tampering investigation unfolded.

Here is a look at the latest news regarding that investigation.

Latest Updates on the Kirk Cousins Tampering Situation

Kirk Cousins
Oct 29, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) gets pressure from Green Bay Packers linebacker Kenny Clark (97) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

“A resolution in the alleged free agent tampering cases of the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles is likely to come this week, per league sources,” Adam Schefter wrote Sunday. “The Falcons have been investigated for the contact they may or may not have had with then-free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins before he signed with Atlanta. The Eagles have been investigated for the contact they may or may not have had with then-free agent running back Saquon Barkley. The NFL has spoken to various members of both organizations.”

This whole tampering investigation came to fruition because of Cousins’ comments at his own introductory press conference in Atlanta.

“There’s great people here. And it’s not just the football team. I mean, I’m looking at the support staff. Meeting — calling, yesterday, calling our head athletic trainer, talking to our head of P.R. I’m thinking, we got good people here. And that’s exciting to be a part of,” Cousins said after signing a four-year/$180 million deal with the Falcons.

Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

That became a problem because Cousins agreed to terms on the contract prior to the official start of free agency— meaning he wasn’t allowed to talk to people within the Falcons organization. All information would have had to come through his agent during that time, thus meaning the Falcons would have committed tampering violations if they had direct contact with the quarterback.

Of course, Vikings fans need to remember that there likely won’t be any kind of “prize” coming Minnesota’s way as a result of this investigation. Instead, the Falcons simply could see some draft capital stripped of them in 2025 (i.e. what happened to the Miami Dolphins in 2023 following their own tampering investigation involving Tom Brady and Sean Payton).

Still, it seems as if the Falcons could have a hefty penalty coming their way as the NFL attempts to make an example of them.

Schefter added, “One league source indicated that the Falcons’ alleged transgressions are considered more significant, and the discipline is expected to be more severe for Atlanta. In the past, the league has taken tampering seriously and disciplined teams accordingly.”

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

If the Falcons were to lose a first-round pick in the 2025 or 2026 drafts, their selection of QB Michael Penix with the eighth overall pick this spring makes a lot more sense.


Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

Share: