The National Football League is handing out its penalties for teams that violated league rules. Mere minutes after the strong arm of the law came down against the Cleveland Browns, its being reported that the Atlanta Falcons have been fined $350,000 and docked a fifth-round pick in 2016 for using pre-recorded crowd noise during home games over the past two seasons.
In its findings, the league concluded that no top Falcons officials had direct knowledge that fake crowd noise was being pumped into the Georgia Dome. Instead, the team’s former director of event marketing was the individual responsible for the violation of league rules.
It’s interesting that the league would wait until the 2016 draft to take a pick away from Atlanta. This penalty is also much less than most people anticipated over the past couple weeks. Some had concluded that the league was prepared to dock Atlanta an early-round pick.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a slap on the wrist. While the fifth-round pick could be valuable, a $350,000 fine amounts to nothing when it comes to league finances and owner’s Arthur Blank’s net worth.
Photo: USA Today Sports