March 14, 2024   3 MIN READ

Tamper Tantrum?

Report: NFL Investigating Birds Signing Of Saquon Barkley


The NFL is investigating the Eagles’ signing of running back Saquon Barkley to see if the team violated league rules pertaining to impermissible contact with free agents.

According to ESPN, the league is looking into whether the Eagles committed a tampering violation stemming from their agreement to sign the former Giants running back and No. 2 overall pick from 2019 out of Penn State.

During a press conference Tuesday, Penn State football coach James Franklin alluded to a phone conversation between Eagles personnel chief Howie Roseman and Barkley that took place before 4 p.m. Wednesday, the official start of the new NFL season.

Teams were allowed to negotiate with the agents of free agents starting noon Monday – what’s called the NFL’s “legal tampering” period – but weren’t allowed to have any contact with players until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Howie Roseman

GETTY IMAGES: The league is looking into the Eagles’ potentially tampering in their signing of RB Saquon Barkley.

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

According to an ESPN story, the Eagles through a spokesperson denied any contact between Roseman and Barkley, telling ESPN that all negotiating was done through the team and agency.

The team officially announced Barkley’s signing Thursday.

Barkley, who agreed to a three-year deal worth $37.75 million early in the legal tampering period, said Thursday in his introductory press conference at the Eagles’ NovaCare Complex that Franklin had “misinterpreted” the situation and denied speaking directly to Roseman during the legal tampering period.

The ESPN story reported, citing a source, that the Giants didn’t contact the league office to report the Eagles.

Barkley, a two-time Pro Bowler, is expected to be the Eagles’ first three-down running back since LeSean McCoy played for the franchise from 2009-2014 and made three Pro Bowls with the franchise.

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

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