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Falcons owner denies tampering in acquisition of Kirk Cousins

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank does not believe his team is guilty of tampering with then-free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins before officially signing him earlier this month.

Blank said the Falcons will “deal with” the outcome of the NFL’s investigation into potential tampering, whatever it may be.

“The tampering deal, we obviously don’t believe we tampered, and we shared all the information with the league,” Blank told reporters Monday at the league meeting in Orlando. “And they’ll review the process and the facts and they are in the middle of doing that, and whatever the result is, we’ll deal with it.”

Cousins signed with Atlanta on a four-year contract worth up to $180 million on March 13, the first official day of free agency. The team and Cousins’ agent had agreed to terms during the so-called legal tampering period, the two days before the start of the new league year.

During an introductory press conference in Atlanta, Cousins said he had spoken to the Falcons’ head athletic trainer and head of PR on the phone before the legal negotiating window, which is against the rules for pending free agents.

The league is also investigating potential tampering by the Philadelphia Eagles with running back Saquon Barkley.

As for on the field, the Falcons believe Cousins will be the answer to the quarterback inconsistency they’ve experienced since parting with Matt Ryan. Cousins was averaging 291.4 passing yards per game last season with the Minnesota Vikings before tearing an Achilles tendon.

“Obviously our football folks felt strongly,” Blank said of Cousins. “Our fans I definitely think would concur with that. He’s a very high-quality quarterback, he’s performed at a high level for 12 years in the league and feel pretty fortunate having him as a quarterback and look forward to seeing the results with him.”

Cousins has thrown for 39,471 yards, 270 touchdowns and 110 interceptions over in his NFL career, six seasons with Washington and six seasons with Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

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