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Falcons noise scandal: Atlanta loses 2016 5th round pick, fined $350,000, fire the other Roddy White

The Falcons finally learn their "severe" punishment.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We knew the NFL was going to punish the Falcons for pumping crowd noise into the Georgia Dome the last two years, especially after Arthur Blank confirmed in a public apology that it happened. Now we know the Falcons will forfeit a fifth round pick, plus other punishments.

We'll see what the organizational fallout is for the Falcons, but I'm willing to bet you'll see a single employee fired as a result, whether that single employee was solely responsible or not. This entire situation has been a mess, but at least now we know the Falcons won't be penalized until 2016, the pick won't be overly consequential and Rich McKay's punishment really amounts to a slap on the wrist. This could have been much worse.

It's unlikely we'll ever know where the combine chatter/rumors that were indicating the Falcons might lose at 2nd or 3rd round pick came from, but it's possible the NFL was considering something in that range at one point. After everyone from Mike Florio to top NFL reporters passing along rumors that the penalties would be "severe," it's tough to deny that this looks...well, not so severe.

We do know that the Falcons have found the responsible party (and/or scapegoat) and fired him. It's a shame the axe falls on one guy, but rightly or wrongly, that was always going to happen.

Here's the finding directly from the NFL:

Our review concluded that Roddy White, the team's former director of event marketing, was directly responsible for the violation. Mr. White would have been suspended without pay for the first eight weeks of the 2015 regular season had he still been with the club. If Mr. White obtains employment with another NFL team during the 2015 season, he may be required to serve some or all of this suspension.

White had been with the team a long time, so it's a shame this happened.