NFL Tampering Investigation into Falcons and Eagles Signings Ongoing, No 2024 Draft Penalties

The NFL is investigating potential tampering by the Falcons and Eagles in the signings of Cousins and Barkley. Penalties may involve future draft picks, but not this year's draft.

Salman Khan
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NFL Tampering Investigation into Falcons and Eagles Signings Ongoing, No 2024 Draft Penalties

NFL Tampering Investigation into Falcons and Eagles Signings Ongoing, No 2024 Draft Penalties

The National Football League (NFL) is currently investigating potential tampering by the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles regarding the signings of quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Saquon Barkley, respectively. The investigation is ongoing and will not be concluded before the 2024 NFL Draft, meaning any potential discipline will not involve draft picks for the upcoming draft.

The Falcons are under review for their efforts to sign Cousins, who revealed that he spoke with the team's head athletic trainer and head of public relations a day before the start of free agency, which is not allowed during the legal tampering period. The Eagles, on the other hand, are being investigated for allegedly tampering in their signing of Barkley away from the division-rival New York Giants. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman reportedly made a direct pitch to Barkley during the legal tampering period, which Barkley later said was misinterpreted.

Both teams have denied any wrongdoing, but the league's rules prohibit players from being in contact with team officials during the negotiating period. The NFL is taking its time with the investigation to determine if any punishments, likely in the form of draft pick penalties, will be handed down. However, those penalties will not come from this year's draft, as the Falcons and Eagles each have eight picks in the 2024 draft.

Why this matters: The NFL's tampering rules are in place to ensure a level playing field for all teams during free agency. Violations of these rules can result in significant penalties, including the loss of draft picks and fines for the teams and individuals involved.

The consequences for the Falcons are expected to be more severe, as the league will look into whether Cousins or his agent spoke to Falcons officials before the negotiating window opened and whether any medical information was exchanged. The NFL will also determine if Cousins violated rules by speaking with the Falcons' trainer. Despite the ongoing investigations, the Falcons and Eagles won't be left scrambling days before this year's draft due to any potential penalties, as the discipline is expected to involve future draft picks.

Key Takeaways

  • NFL investigating potential tampering by Falcons and Eagles in Cousins and Barkley signings
  • Falcons accused of contacting Cousins before legal tampering period, Eagles of pitching Barkley
  • Penalties, if any, will not affect 2023 draft, but could involve future draft picks
  • Falcons likely to face harsher penalties for potential medical information exchange with Cousins
  • NFL rules aim to ensure fair free agency, violations can lead to draft pick losses and fines