Saturday, July 13, 2024

Falcons Get Slap On The Wrist Despite Tampering With Darnell Mooney


Darnell Mooney played four seasons for the Chicago Bears and was a good player. Unfortunately, his last two years never seemed to go right. He never clicked in former offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system and lacked chemistry with Justin Fields. It was felt both sides needed a fresh start. The Bears traded for Keenan Allen and drafted Rome Odunze. Mooney quickly signed with the Atlanta Falcons, joining quarterback Kirk Cousins. It felt like a good move on paper. Cousins has a history of helping his wide receivers be productive. There was only one problem.

Whispers hinted that Atlanta may have tampered with both players before the legal window was open. Cousins even hinted that was the case during his first meeting with the media. Inevitably, the NFL launched an investigation to find out if this was true. Their conclusion was somewhat lackluster. They found no proof Atlanta contacted either player before the negotiating window but did arrange travel plans for both before either was officially under contract. As a result, the team received a fine and lost its fifth-round pick in 2025.

This Darnell Mooney fallout is unlikely to deter teams now.

If they feel they can land top free agents with minimal punishment from the NFL for tampering, they will do it. The league is that competitive. Paying a 5th round pick and $250,000 is a pittance in the grand scheme. Don’t forget Dak Prescott will be a free agent next year. One can only imagine the lengths teams will go to in order to lure him their way. Look at what the Falcons did for a 36-year-old Cousins and a #3 receiver like Mooney. This further explains why GM Ryan Poles probably hates leaning into free agency for help every year. It’s the wild west.

One person who is happy about this is Darnell Mooney. He gets the contract he wanted and will play with a proven quarterback. He will finally have a chance to showcase what he can do without restrictions. Atlanta is now a favorite to challenge Tampa Bay for the division title. Mooney’s last foray to the playoffs was an ugly one. It also probably helps he’s closer to home in the South. Here is hoping things go well for him. No doubt the two teams could end up battling for a playoff spot.

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Jun 14, 2024 1:30 pm

The Bears offense could’ve rolled out the most talented offensive players ever at their respective positions, in their prime, and Getsy’s offense would’ve made them look like a garbage fire. I get that the league is incestuous when it comes to giving bad coaches jobs, but I was surprised he got on with Las Vegas because I assumed he’d just quit football entirely out of embarrassment.

Jun 14, 2024 1:21 pm

Hate to disagree with Erik Lambert (😱), but Darnell Mooney didn’t fit into Luke Getsy’s “system?” What system? And he didn’t have chemistry with Fields? No one has “chemistry” if no one knows what they are being asked to do (or why). The only reason Fields threw to Moore and seemed to ONLY throw to Moore, was because Moore knew where to go, and when to make himself available for Fields. The younger, less developed receivers were just confused by the Getsy “system” which seemed to change with every criticism after every game, and then be forgotten two weeks later.… Read more »

Jun 14, 2024 1:14 pm

Tampering with a player who everybody knew had no place in his team’s rebuild is the newest Ryan Pace banger

Jun 14, 2024 9:16 am

Compensation aside, the main point here should be the penalty to the Falcons. Don’t forget, the Dolphins were penalized 1st and 3rd picks and fined 1.5M for “tampering” with Tom Brady and Sean Payton a few years back. AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN SIGN THEM! Where’s the justice here. Oh so similar to Pete Rose still being kicked around while Ohtani is brushed under the rug. Folks, if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck…It’s a DUCK. This commissioner is a joke and the owners are dumb as shit for paying him what they… Read more »

Jun 14, 2024 12:16 am

@Dr. Melhus – isn’t that the point I made? That it was foolish to expect any compensation or even meaningful punishment?

But I do have to point out, if this had happened involving a Kansas City or San Francisco player, I think the punishment would have been greater than merely losing a 5th round pick. The NFL has zero respect for the Bears under Warren/ Poles, just as they had none for the Bears under Phillips / Pace, Emery, or Angelo.

Last edited 29 days ago by Tred

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