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The National Football League has begun to investigate potential tampering violations with the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. Its probe stems from the respective free agent signings of Saquon Barkley and Kirk Cousins.

This is the first step in what could be a much lengthier process.

As of right now, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, the NFL is just “looking into” things.

There is no timeline for how long this might take to resolve.

James Franklin may have exposed Saquon Barkley.

Barkley signed a three-year, $37.75 million contract with the Eagles after six years with the Giants. The move was announced on March 11. James Franklin, his former head coach at Penn State, spoke about the move on March 12 and might have indicated illegal activity.

He appeared to indicate that the running back spoke to Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman during the negotiating window before the start of free agency. If true, that would be illegal.

For [Saquon Barkley] now to come back and be able to play within the state, in Philadelphia, he said that was one of the first things that Howie said to him on the phone as part of his sales pitch to him was not only the Philadelphia Eagles and that but obviously the connection with Penn State and the fan base as well.

— James Franklin

Teams are not allowed to talk with players directly during the negotiating window, unless the player represents himself. Barkley does not. He has an agent.

An Eagles spokesperson denied any wrongdoing in a statement.

All player recruiting is facilitated through the player’s agent.

— Philadelphia Eagles, via Pro Football Talk

The league is aware of the alleged illegal communication and will begin to dig.

Kirk Cousins may have exposed Kirk Cousins.

Cousins signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons after six years with the Redskins and six years with the vikings. He seemingly told on his own team during his introductory press conference on Wednesday

The 35-year-old quarterback admitted to talking to multiple members of Atlanta’s staff prior to his signing. If true, that too would be illegale.

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 training, talking to our head of P.R, I’m thinking “we got good people here.” And that’s exciting to be a part of.

— Kirk Cousins

Those comments seem to indicate that Cousins directly communicated with his new team during the 52-hour negotiating window. That is prohibited.

The NFL is “looking” into it.

It is unclear as to how the league plans to proceed. This is the first of many steps in the process.

Should the NFL find legitimate evidence of tampering, either with Cousins or Barkley, it could result in a loss of draft pick for the Falcons or Eagles.