Eagles deny tampering with Saquon Barkley following James Franklin's comments

The Philadelphia Eagles have denied that general manager Howie Roseman contacted Saquon Barkley during the 52-hour "legal tampering" window where teams can only talk to agents, unless the player is representing himself or has no agent.

What prompted the denial were the words of Barkley's former coach at Penn State, James Franklin, this week when speaking about how the proximity of Happy Valley to Philadelphia played a role in the running back signing with the Eagles.

“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 that 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.”

Barkley ended up signing a three-year, $37.75 million contract with $26 million guaranteed to leave the New York Giants for the Eagles this week.

Along with the denial, the Eagles said that their recruiting during the "legal tampering" window is done through player agents.

The Giants declined comment on the issue.

The Kansas City Chiefs were docked a third-round pick in 2016 and fines were levied against head coach Andy Reid and then-GM John Dorsey for making direct contact with free agent-to-be Jeremy Maclin.

Barkley, a two-time Pro Bowler, posted 1,242 combined rushing and receiving yards in 2023 with 10 touchdowns in 14 games.