According to reports, the punishment for falcon tampering will come this week

When reports first surfaced about the Atlanta Falcons’ interest in free agent QB Kirk Cousins, it became clear that they could be violating the NFL’s tampering rules. I wrote about it the Sunday before the legal tampering period and what do you know, they messed up.

Fortunately, 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.

That said, it would have been great if you hadn’t drawn so much attention to yourself, or just not messed around at all. However, it is what it is, the past doesn’t change.

According to Adam Schefter, the Falcons are preparing to be punished along with the Philadelphia Eagles this week. Expect fines and loss of draft picks. I wouldn’t be surprised if that includes a first-round pick.

It’s time to hold your breath for the next few days. If the Atlanta Falcons don’t lose a first-round pick, we should cheer because they broke a rule in pursuing the league’s top free agent. The NFL will use them as a warning to other teams.

Tampering is something the NFL can’t stop. It will always happen because there are too many people you have to micro-manage to stop the violations completely. But what the league can do is impose harsh penalties on those who blatantly break the rules, as the Dirty Birds did.

In another situation involving Tom Brady and Sean Payton, the Miami Dolphins lost a first-round pick because they contacted the player and coach while still under contract. Yes, it’s a different situation, but in retrospect the Falcons’ situation only makes things worse for them.

We landed the best free agent at the most important position. We also stole him from a team that wanted him back; the Vikings should not be happy with what happened and their vote could increase the punishment.

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

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