NFL is reviewing whether Eagles and Falcons violated tampering policies

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks during a news conference Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. Cousins has one playoff victory in his long career. The Falcons are betting at least $100 million that he's the guy who can lead them to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks during a news conference Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. Cousins has one playoff victory in his long career. The Falcons are betting at least $100 million that he’s the guy who can lead them to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The NFL is reviewing whether the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles violated tampering policies during the legal tampering window, a league spokesman said Thursday.

The Falcons agreed to a contract with four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins shortly after teams were permitted to start negotiating with unrestricted free agents on Monday.

The Eagles quickly struck a deal with two-time Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley soon after the negotiation period opened at 12 p.m. EDT.

Penn State coach James Franklin told a reporter that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman spoke to Barkley and pitched him on the connection between the Eagles and Nittany Lions fan bases.

Teams are permitted to talk directly with agents during the 52-hour negotiating window, but can’t speak to the player unless he has no agent and represents himself.

The Eagles have denied the claims and Barkley said Franklin misinterpreted their conversation.

“That was through my agent and my agent told me that,” Barkley said.

In Atlanta’s case, Cousins said Wednesday: “There’s great people here. And it’s not just the football team. I mean, I’m looking at the support staff. Meeting — calling, yesterday, calling our head athletic trainer, talking to our head of PR I’m thinking, we got good people here. And that’s exciting to be a part of.”

Cousins wasn’t permitted to speak to anyone before 4 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

“Due to the NFL’s review, we are unable to provide information or have additional comment,” the Falcons said in a statement.

Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was asked if he’s had any communication with the league on the tampering investigation.

“That’s kind of above our fray there,” Adofo-Mensah said Thursday. “I’ve just been busy trying to work on the roster. I’m not aware of any of that stuff.”

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell suggested last week in an interview with NFL Network that the market for Cousins grew at the league’s scouting combine.

“I think the combine just kind of gave everybody else an opportunity — even whether they’re supposed to be or not — to maybe have some conversations,” O’Connell said.

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AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell contributed.

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