Falcons owner responds to Kirk Cousins tampering allegations

NFL: NOV 05 Vikings at Falcons

The biggest talking point this offseason was what the Falcons were going to do at the quarterback position, and Terry Fontenot responded by giving Kirk Cousins a $180 million deal over four years.

With Arthur Blank’s support, Atlanta’s GM went further in every facet of the contract than Minnesota. The Vikings weren’t willing to go where the Falcons went in years, guarantees, or average annual value.

The Falcons wanted Kirk Cousins, and they made it known. The honeymoon stage didn’t last long, though. During Cousins’ introductory press conference at Flowery Branch, the veteran volunteered information that Kyle Pitts had recruited him weeks before the legal tampering period and he’d had conversations with other team personnel.

“There’s great people here,” Cousins said. “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.”

Mike Florio, who is a known Vikings fan, went as far as to call it the most blatant case of tampering he’s ever seen. Well, Falcons owner Arthur Blank had his time to defend his organization and new quarterback.

“Any time the word ‘tampering’ comes up, you worry about it,” Blank told USA TODAY Sports in Orlando at the owner’s meetings. “I know there was no tampering from our standpoint. Whatever conversation there was, was very innocent. We’ll see. Whatever the league decides, we’ll deal with it.”

Tampering is the worst-kept secret in the NFL. Teams, players, and owners do it all of the time. Rarely are they investigated, and even more rarely are they punished, but this one does seem obvious. Blank maintains nothing was intentional, though.

“There was nothing intentional,” Blank said. “Minnesota understands that. The player understands that.”

I’m not quite sure the league cares about if something is intentional or not. I don’t see the hammer coming down on the Falcons, though.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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