NFL insider reveals timeline for ‘resolution’ into alleged Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles tampering

Atlanta Falcons
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons made NFL news this offseason when the league formally announced investigations into alleged tampering in free agency. More than two months after inquiries were launched, potential discipline will reportedly be issued this week.

Atlanta and Philadelphia both made two of the biggest splashes in NFL free agency. The Falcons signed quarterback Kirk Cousins away from the Minnesota Vikings, while the Eagles poached running back Saquon Barkley away from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Related: Worst NFL contracts right now, including Atlanta Falcons’ Kirk Cousins

However, both signings quickly came under scrutiny due to implications that both franchises had illegal contact with the players during the no-communication window.

Just days after the Eagles signed Barkley and before his introductory press conference, Penn State Nittany Lions coach James Franklin told reporters during a press conference that the sales pitch made to Barkley by Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman was that he could be close to Penn State.

Read: Examining the difference in tampering allegations against Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles

Under NFL rules, the time period when Roseman was alleged to have spoken with Barkley is a direct violation of tampering guidelines. However, the Eagles and Barkley both denied Franklin’s statement. While the NFL is investigating the matter, it’s viewed as less likely to result in significant discipline.

After signing with the Falcons, Cousins shared during his introductory press conference that he spoke to the team’s head athletic trainer before agreeing to terms on a contract. This is also a violation of league rules, with no contact permitted between a free agent on another team and a team employee during the legal tampering period.

Related: NFL insider reveals potential tampering punishment for Atlanta Falcons

Whereas the investigation into the Eagles centers on a statement made by Franklin, with no obvious proof of forbidden contact between Roseman and Barkley, Cousins publicly admitted he had contact with a Falcons’ staffer.

Now, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a resolution into the tampering cases against both teams is expected this week. While details aren’t provided on the nature of the resolution, discipline for said teams is widely expected.

Related: Atlanta Falcons tampering punishment reportedly could be severe

Of the modern examples of the NFL punishing teams for illegal tampering, the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round selection for three instances of illegal contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton. The Kansas City Chiefs also forfeited a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick for tampering with Jeremy Maclin in 2015.

Both teams could be stripped of draft picks in the 2025 NFL Draft and potentially face significant fines. However, clarity will come when the league announces its findings later this week.

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