Philadelphia Eagles Accused Of Illegal “Tampering” With Superstar RB Saquon Barkley After New Information Surfaces

Saquon Barkley of New York Giants running with football.EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – JANUARY 07: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown against Zach Cunningham #52 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at MetLife Stadium on January 07, 2024 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Controversy appears to be brewing in Philadelphia.

On Monday, it was announced that the Philadelphia Eagles had signed ex-New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley to a three-year contract worth $37.75 million. The deal became official on Wednesday once the new league year began at 4:00 p.m. EST.

It seemed cut-and-dry at first. The Eagles negotiated with Barkley during the legal tampering window and signed him to a three-year deal.

But Penn State head coach James Franklin may have inadvertently hinted that the Eagles violated the tampering rules, per a piece from Mark Wogenrich of Sports Illustrated. That piece detailed a conversation Franklin had with Eagles GM Howie Roseman.

“He said that was one of the first things that Howie said to him on the phone as part of his sales pitch,” Franklin said on Tuesday, per Wogenrich. “Not only the Philadelphia Eagles and that that but also the connection with Penn State and the fan base as well. So just a really cool opportunity.”

 


And as noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, teams cannot speak directly to a player during the negotiating window. If Roseman did speak to Barkley directly, as Franklin indicated, then the Eagles clearly violated the league’s tampering rules:
“During the 52-hour, pre-free-agency negotiating window, teams can talk directly to agents. They can’t talk to the player, unless the player has no agent and represents himself.

That’s relevant today because an item in SI.com suggests that Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman spoke directly to Giants running back Saquon Barkley during the negotiating window. The Eagles have denied it.”

https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/1768016169489797214

The NFL is awfully strict on violations of tampering rules. In the 2022 offseason, the NFL stripped the Miami Dolphins of their 2023 first and 2024 third-round picks for speaking to Tom Brady and Sean Payton while they were under contract with the Patriots and Saints, respectively.

Owner Stephen Ross was suspended through Oct. 17 of that year and fined $1.5 million.

We’ll bring more details on the Eagles-Barkley tampering allegations as they become available.


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