Did the Eagles just get caught red-handed tampering with Saquon Barkley?

Howie Roseman and the Eagles may have some explaining to do

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) heads to the goal line in the second quarter past
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) heads to the goal line in the second quarter past / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

If you thought the drama between the NY Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Saquon Barkley was all over, it's time to pull out a chair, crack open a cold beverage and keep on enjoying the show. Barkley broke countless hearts when he announced he was leaving East Rutherford for the City of Brotherly Love.

You can't really blame the guy, as the Eagles paid big: three years, $37.75 million with $26 million guaranteed is on the way for No. 26. However, perhaps Philly is going to be paying an even bigger price. That's because it looks like Howie Roseman, per former Penn State coach James Franklin, may have had direct contact with Barkley during the negotiation period. As the good folks over at Pro Football Talk have noted, that's a major no-no:

Rumors are flying the Eagles had illegal contact with Saquon Barkley

We don't want to get too ahead of ourselves, but let's not forget that Miami lost two NFL Draft picks when it was found they tampered with both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. This includes a 2023 first-round selection. A quick look at social media shows Giants fans calling for Philly to be hit with a punishment, but let's wait for more facts to arrive before we go all-in on that.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Mark Wogenrich, Franklin apparently told him that Barkley spoke to Roseman, who used Barkley's Penn State playing days as a pitch for him to join the Eagles. Not to mention, Roseman also brought up the fact that a homecoming to Pennsylvania, Barkley's home state, would be special for him as well.

"He said that was one of the first things that Howie said to him on the phone as part of his sales pitch (returning to Pennsylvania). Not only the Philadelphia Eagles and that, but also the connection with Penn State and the fan base as well. So just a really cool opportunity."

James Franklin to Mark Wogenrich

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wasted no time in getting to the bottom of this, reaching out to the Eagles for comment. He was told by the team that 'all player recruiting is facilitated through the player’s agent.'

So, are the Eagles convincing Florio and everyone that Roseman was in direct contact with Barkley's agent Ed Berry, who then passed along the message to the superstar playmaker? Hey, if that's what happened, then it all makes sense and no harm, no foul. However, if Roseman indeed was on the horn with the former Giant, then the Eagles will have some serious explaining to do.