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June 03, 2024

Report: NFL could soon discipline Eagles for tampering

Saquon Barkley's former coach at Penn State, James Franklin, mentioned in a press conference this offseason that Howie Roseman and Barkley had a phone conversation before free agency, resulting in possible tampering charges this week.

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060224SaquonBarkley Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley

The Philadelphia Eagles could be disciplined this week for allegedly tampering with former New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley prior to the official start of NFL free agency, according to a report from ESPN.

The NFL has been investigating the Eagles for about three months for allegedly having contact with Saquon Barkley during the two-day negotiating window prior to the start of free agency. Teams are permitted to negotiate with agents, but they are not allowed to have direct communication with players on other teams during that window, unless they are representing themselves. 

Barkley's former coach at Penn State, James Franklin, indicated during a press conference in March that Howie Roseman and Barkley had a phone conversation. Via Amber Charnoff of ABC27

“For him now to come back and be able to play within the state in Philadelphia, (Barkley) said that was one of the first things Howie (Roseman) said to him on the phone as part of his sales pitch to him,” Franklin said. “Not only the Philadelphia Eagles but obviously the connection with Penn State and the fan bases as well.”

Oops! The Eagles denied it. Barkley was asked about it during his introductory press conference after signing with the team, and he came armed with a story.

"Coach Franklin I think kind of misinterpreted it," Barkley said. "The truth was, the sales pitch was Penn State, how many Penn State fans are Philadelphia Eagles, but that was through my agent. My agent told me that."

The NFL will have to decide whether the Eagles had impermissible contact with Barkley, or if Barkley's tale was truthful.

During the 2024 NFL Draft, Howie Roseman was able to add three extra picks in the 2025 NFL Draft, so the Eagles do have extra picks to spare should their punishment include the loss of draft capital. Here are their 2025 picks:

Round How acquired 
Eagles' own pick 
Eagles' own pick 
Eagles' own pick 
From Dolphins 
From Lions 
Eagles' own pick 
From Texans 

In the past, teams that have been "victims" of tampering have not been compensated with draft capital when the offending teams have lost picks. If that holds true to form, the Giants would only have the satisfaction of seeing the Eagles punished, but would not benefit in any way otherwise. 

The Eagles have also come under scrutiny for possibly tampering with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who joined the Eagles from Miami this offseason. There are no publicly known investigations involving that situation from the NFL.

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