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NFL reaches conclusion in Eagles, Saquon Barkley tampering investigation

The NFL is not disciplining the Eagles after an investigation into the signing of Saquon Barkley

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The Eagles will not face discipline after the NFL concluded its investigation into the signing of Saquon Barkley this offseason.

In a statement, the league said it did not find evidence that the Anti-Tampering Policy was violated.

Here’s the full statement from the NFL:

“After a thorough review of the Philadelphia Eagles signing of Saquon Barkley, the NFL today informed the club that the investigation did not discover sufficient evidence to support a finding that the Anti-Tampering Policy was violated.

“In coming to this conclusion, the league reviewed phone logs, text messages and other documents related to Philadelphia’s free agency strategy and decision to sign Barkley. The NFL also interviewed several members of the organization, including Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni, as well as Barkley and Penn State head coach James Franklin. As with every review, should new evidence be uncovered, the league may reopen the investigation.”

The Falcons, meanwhile, have been punished for tampering while signing quarterback Kirk Cousins and other players. They lost a 2025 fifth-round pick, were fined $250,000 and GM Terry Fontenot was fined $50,000.

Throughout the offseason, the Eagles have maintained their innocence. And at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did not seem worried about the investigation.

“We’re very comfortable with everything with our activity,” Lurie said at the NFL owners meetings in March. “We know exactly what we’re doing. We just have to rely on the NFL to do its work and respect that and I’m sure they will.”

The Eagles signed Barkley to a three-year deal this offseason. The tampering investigation stemmed from seemingly offhand comments from Penn State head coach James Franklin this spring.

Here’s what Franklin said after the Eagles landed 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,” Franklin said, “was not not only the Philadelphia Eagles and that but obviously the connection with Penn State and the fan bases as well.”

The problem with that quote is that during the NFL’s negotiating period, general managers are not permitted to speak to pending free agents directly unless that player doesn’t have an agent. So if Roseman had spoken directly to Barkley, then that’s tampering.

Barkley later said Franklin misinterpreted their conversation.

“Coach Franklin, I think, kind of misinterpreted,” Barkley said this spring. “The truth was the sales pitch to Penn State, how many Penn State fans are Philadelphia Eagles fans. But that was through my agent and my agent told me that. It happens. I’m going to let Philly handle that.”

Barkley’s three-year contract with the Eagles is worth $37.75 million. He’ll be the featured running back in Kellen Moore’s offense in 2024 after playing the first six years of his career with the New York Giants.

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