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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


Falcons penalized for tampering with former 49ers TE Charlie Woerner, others during free agency

Jun 13, 2024 at 9:07 AM


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The Atlanta Falcons signed former San Francisco 49ers tight end Charlie Woerner to a three-year, $12 million deal in March, agreeing to terms during the two-day negotiation window ahead of the new league year.

Today, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the NFL has punished the Falcons following an investigation into tampering. The team will surrender a 2025 fifth-round draft pick and pay a $250,000 fine. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot was also fined $50,000.


Woerner was among three players with whom the Falcons tampered ahead of the official start of free agency. The others were quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Darnell Mooney.


During the two-day window leading up to the start of free agency, NFL teams are only allowed to speak to the players' agents or the player himself if he is self-represented. No communication is allowed with players represented by agents until the start of the new league year. The Falcons reportedly violated this rule.

It's noteworthy that the tampering fines were lower since they involved logistics, such as communicating about travel arrangements after the players agreed to their deals' terms. It doesn't appear that the tampering occurred during the negotiation process itself.



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