Falcons penalty doesn’t seem to provide much deterrence

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The Falcons admittedly used artificial crowd noise throughout the 2013 season and into the 2014 season, until they were caught in November.  Ultimately, they were fined and stripped of a fifth-round pick in 2016.

The fine ($350,000) really isn’t all that much for a billion-dollar business.  The draft pick carries far more value, but since it was deferred until 2016 it’s roughly equivalent to a sixth-round pick in 2015.

Given that there’s a chance a team can use false crowd noise and manage to conceal their activities indefinitely, the punishment for getting caught doesn’t exactly operate as a major deterrent — especially since fake crowd noise can have a major benefit.

As former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker explained on Monday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, crowd noise removes the advantage of knowing when the ball will be snapped, giving the blockers a split-second head start over the defensive players.  So the punishment doesn’t really seem to fit the crime, which could tempt others to commit the same crime.

48 responses to “Falcons penalty doesn’t seem to provide much deterrence

  1. I swear some people will complain about anything. They lost a draft pick and the team’s Marketing Director got fired. Seems like a deterrent to me. Let’s not pretend they laced the visiting locker room with explosives.

  2. speaking of “doesn’t fit the crime”, how bout a GM texting the coaching staff during a game! and said GM suspended 4 games. What the does a GM have to do with any game? how bout penalizing the product.
    So there’s that. It’s like suspending santa claus for January through February… means nothing.

  3. And the Falcs have to go straight to bed without any dessert!

    Although that part of the “punishment” is not til 2017…

    Pathetic Goodell, fire yourself!

  4. The Falcon got off light but I personally think McKay and Dimitroff should have been suspended along with Blank for the whole season and fine the team $ 1million but the draft pick is a slap on the wrist especially if they get compensation picks

  5. Remember the days when excessive crowd noise was a penalty for the home team? Lets not forget that the NFL determined this was done by ONE person without knowledge of the Falcons and he has been fired so no, I don’t think the penalty is light; ANY lost draft choice hurts.

  6. Maybe because the Falcons completely cooperated with the NFL. Unlike other teams who not only broke the rules, but then tried to cover it up.

  7. Of course the ATL penalty doesn’t fit the crime. It directly impacted the game being played and should have been much more severe.

  8. Report comment
    profish13 says:
    Mar 30, 2015 7:23 PM
    Maybe because the Falcons completely cooperated with the NFL. Unlike other teams who not only broke the rules, but then tried to cover it up.
    MIA tampering with Suh for instance?

  9. Where’s the penalty for the Colts for doing the same thing? Once they get busted for tampering with game balls it will be interesting to see what their punishment is.

  10. “The fine ($350,000) really isn’t all that much for a billion-dollar business. The draft pick carries far more value, but since it was deferred until 2016 it’s roughly equivalent to a sixth-round pick in 2015.”

    No, the fine isn’t a lot for a billion dollar business. But any time you have to write a check for $350,000, the business will remember it.

    And the part about the value of the draft pick is a load of crap. It IS a 5th round pick next year. There is no need to try to place a “current value” on it. It will hurt when the time comes to miss out on a guy they could have had.

  11. Why draft picks and how do you quantify that? I don’t understand the correlation. Maybe a fitting penalty would be to send two of their home games to London.

  12. The NFL made $10bil in revenue last year. About half went to the player, so that’s $5bil. Assume, since players are by far the largest cost, that they’re making 60% margin, so call it $3b in gross profit, divided by 32 teams, and knock off a third for taxes and NFL teams are probably pulling in….$60m/year or less? $350k isn’t noise. It’s like 5% of your net income.

  13. It would only be important if the Patriots did it…
    Then everyone & the media would be screaming about how much of an advance the Patriots got & how Bb should be suspended for a year, 1st round picks for the next 3 years & a million dollars in fines should be imposed or else Godell & Kraft are best buds & nothing but a cover up has been done, but, since it’s the falcons it’s no big deal & the punnishment is really to harsh!!!
    Come on let’s hear how that’s not true so I can laugh at all you hypocrites!!!

  14. So the Patriots lose a 1st round draft pick for video taping in the end zone. Where it was perfectly legal to video tape anywhere else even 1 foot away from end zone. And the video was not used during the game.

    But the Falcons actively try and rig the game and they get a 6th round pick?

    Fire Goodell

  15. Florio just admit you were wrong saying 2nd round pick the last week or so. Your reporting over the years of the Falcons shows your strong dislike for this team . Arthur Blank admitted it and did not try to deny or cover it up unlike other owners in the league.

  16. Please explain why any team WOUILDN’T try and pump in noise to their home game. You gain a DISTINCT advantage by doing it, and the punishment, if caught, means nothing.

    Clearly the NFL has 2 sets of rules. Certain teams get punished one way and others get punished another. Patriot, Saint, and Washington fans should be outraged. Jet fans should smile smugly and celebrate the only win they get as a fan base.

    This joke of a leader us once again making a laughing stalk out of the league, and we just take it. This is just pathetic

  17. Because the Falclowns are in the NFC South, the hate for the Saints by the Commish is shown again by the lenient penalty against a division rival. He hates that his overreaction to the non-existent Bounty Gate was overruled by Paul Tagliabue. The current commish is a cancer to the league.

  18. The Patriots will be docked a first round pick and fined $500,000 for allowing a 50 year old guy to pee.

  19. Considering the Falcons record the past two years, I think this was a failure from the jump…but jokes aside, we know pro arenas do this all the time. Half-empty stadiums rocking and roaring, 3000 people in a hoops arena screaming a deafening D-Fense, even baseball pipes in cheers. This isn’t new.

  20. Really thought they should have lost at least a 3rd (this year). This went on for 2 years! You can’t tell me nobody in upper management knew about it. Opposing players have said they knew it was happening. The Patriots lost a 1st for spygate! How is this different? Cheating is cheating.

  21. If your team had the level of fan support as the best team in the NFL since PC and RW’s arrival, you wouldn’t need to artificially pump in noise.

    You also wouldn’t need to cheat in other ways.


  22. What a bunch of crap!! Patriots lose a first round pick for cheating (spygate) and Browns lose no draft picks for cheating and Falcons lose a 5th for cheating. I guess the better the team the worse the penalty!!

    If that is the case the Jets will get no penalty for tampering (since they suck!!!). Patriots will lose 15 number 1’s for something they did not even do. Sucks to be so good!!!!

  23. “speaking of ‘doesn’t fit the crime’, how bout a GM texting the coaching staff during a game! and said GM suspended 4 games. What the does a GM have to do with any game? how bout penalizing the product.”

    You specifically say a GM has nothing to do with a game, but yet the punishment is because he sent a text during the game. What do you think the text contained that was so beneficial to the Browns outcome of the game (which they lost)?

    Also, you left out the part about him not getting pair for those 4 weeks, and not being able to be at the browns offices or practice facilities. I’d be curious to hear what you think is an appropriate punishment for a message that likely said “put Manziel in”.

  24. The fake crowd noise was only used to drown out the loud visiting fans. Thus the lighter penalty. Atlanta is a transient city and gets a lot of visiting fans at the games.

  25. We all know if this was the Patriots, it would have been a first round pick. After all, the tyrant in the head office is an ex Jet employee.

  26. Performing a smidge of homework and one finds on LinkedIn that this guy got promoted to VP of Events a year and four months ago. Either the Falcons didn’t know they were promoting a cheater, or they promoted the cheater due to the cheating. He was with the club for over 13 years. Since this offense purportedly started in 2013, and he was a mere director back then, I’m inclined to believe they knew exactly what they were promoting him for.

  27. Not a Falcons lover or hater (nor Patriots) but this is a horrible punishment for something that was clearly done to cheat. What a disgrace, it still would be THIS year for only a 5th but next year?? Teams get higher compensatory picks than this…. seriously?

  28. Still think the penalty was light due to the complete and utter failure of the extra noise to have any impact on the opposing team…..opponents kicked the Falcons around with impunity in their own building, and the only “noise” problems were created by fans of the opposing team…..

    It’s up to Dan Quinn to build some toughness back into this team, especially a defense that consistently folded under pressure…..and the Atlanta fans to make a little of their own noise to support their team.

  29. I am completely stupefied. The Falcons cheated for a season and a half in a way that absolutely affects the integrity of the game and they lose a 5th round draft pick a year in the future? Making it so the visitor’s offense can’t hear each other is a huge advantage! Every team in the league should do this. And, if anyone believes this was all done by one guy, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

  30. If memory serves correct, the Falcons still sucked those two years even though they cheated, so it’s not like there was a huge disadvantage. However, a 5th rounder is absolutely no deterrent whatsoever.

  31. When discussing Deflategate, Goodell said “Whether a competitive advantage was actually gained or not is secondary in my mind to whether that rule was violated. That’s the integrity of our game.”

    With that in mind, how is this different than Spygate? Weren’t both broken rules damaging the integrity of the game? Cheating is cheating.

    While Belichick wasn’t cooperative with the media, he was with the NFL office during both investigations. So if cooperation isn’t the difference, what is?

  32. The penalty is even less of a deterrent than the Atalanta Defense…if that’s even possible.

  33. They admitted to 2013 and 2014, but it was going on a lot longer than that. Everyone know it was a joke when they were trying to say how great their fans were.

  34. The game of football is surrounded by a culture of cheating. Linemen are taught how to hold to not get caught, DBs are taught how to discreetly grab a receiver and turn him so they don’t get caught. Ball carriers are told to move the ball forward after they are down on the hope the Ref loses his placement and gives them an extra foot or two. Is it really shocking that the coaches and GMs get caught up in trying to get any advantage, even if it is a illegal?

    Let’s not fool ourselves, every coach teaches cheating and every team has cheated in some way. When a team gets caught cheating, give them their penalty and move on, just like with the lineman that holds. Let’s get off our high horses and stop pretending the one that gets caught is a super villain.

  35. 5th round picks have a 90% fail rate so there’s a 90% chance the penalty has no effect at all. It’s light enough that other teams will now try it since they know there won’t be much blow back.

  36. 41chacha says:
    Mar 30, 2015 8:26 PM

    What a bunch of crap!! Patriots lose a first round pick for cheating (spygate) and Browns lose no draft picks for cheating and Falcons lose a 5th for cheating. I guess the better the team the worse the penalty!!
    Falcons aren’t exactly the cream of the NFL crop. It’s all about advantage, whatever Cleveland did apparently didn’t gain them an edge in competition, the other two cases you cited did.

  37. Goodell can’t get anything right. He and everyone else in the league office acted like they were “very serious people” when it came to Deflategate and Spygate. Now, when he’s got an absolutely clear, proven example of cheating, he lets the team off with late round draft choice a year into the future. How did they decide? Did they ask the Falcons what they were willing to give up?

    This decision also tells me the league has nothing on the Patriots in Deflategate and has no intention of seriously punishing the Jets for tampering. It’s like they want to set the bar on punishment so low that nobody gets too worked up when nothing happens to the Pats and the Jets end up losing a 7th rounder.

  38. Their “punisment” is a joke. They got away pretty much scott free. I’m sure they could care less about losing a 5th rd draft pick next year.

  39. For those that think a GM getting suspended for the first 4 weeks is a slap on thw wrist, I think you are mistaken. Sept is one of the most important months of the season for roster building. After final cuts, teams are scouring the waiver wire for hidden gems. And a lot of teams will wait until week 2 to sign a veteran player. Dont you think having your GM available would be important if you were planning on signing a veteran player in week 2? Dont you think his input would be valuable? But his input cant be expressed because he cant have any contact with the team for 4 weeks. If it was 4 weeks in the middle of the season, it would be less harsh than the first 4 weeks. Just saying…

    And we all know that the integrity of the game is only important when Goodell wants to hammer the Patriots. The Pats are gonna somehow lose a 3rd rounder because Woody Johnson tampered with Revis

  40. 2015 – Well it was just one guy. It isn’t like the owner or GM had any idea. Besides, Blank is a close personal friend of mine so I’ll cut him a break and barely slap his wrist when I would have burned a team whose owner I’m not a friend of.

    2014- Don’t blame me. I didn’t know it was that bad even though video was available and I didn’t ask for it, Rice told me point blank that he beat her up and pay no attention to the fact that I was giving a friend a competitive advantage by letting his star RB off much lighter than I would for a team run by a friend.

    2012- Ignorance is no excuse

    The evolution of a complete scumbag excuse for a professional sports commissioner. And they wonder why fans are starting to think they rig games.

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