Giants running back Saquon Barkley runs for a touchdown against...

Giants running back Saquon Barkley runs for a touchdown against the Eagles during the second half of an NFL game on Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

ORLANDO, Fla.— Roger Goodell said the NFL is continuing to look into allegations of tampering against the Eagles in their pursuit of free agent running back Saquon Barkley.

“I usually don’t get an update until those inquiries have ended,” the commissioner said on Tuesday at the close of the league’s annual meeting, “but I’m sure they are making progress. I know they were hard at work on it immediately.”

The issue stems from an interview Penn State coach James Franklin gave after Barkley had agreed to terms with the Eagles during the negotiating period but before the official start of free agency. Franklin said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had spoken with Barkley and tried to convince him to sign because of the number of Penn State fans in the Philadelphia area. No direct conversations between teams and free agent players are allowed during that two-day negotiating window.

Barkley, who signed a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Eagles, said Franklin misunderstood the communication between the Eagles and Barkley’s agents and it was not with Barkley himself.

“You'll have to ask the league about that one,” Giants co-owner John Mara said of the matter on Monday. “We're staying out of that one. That interview came out with James Franklin and the league, I guess, is investigating it, but I've not had any involvement in that.”

The Falcons are also being investigated for potential tampering with quarterback Kirk Cousins who said in his introductory news conference that he had contact with the team’s medical and communications staffs prior to it being permitted.

Notes & quotes: Besides several new rules the NFL also announced it will play a Christmas Day doubleheader this season even though the holiday lands on a Wednesday. The four yet-to-be-determined teams participating in those games will also play the Saturday prior to provide the same time between games as normally occurs between Sunday and Thursday contests … The NFL voted to extend the trade deadline to Week 9 of the regular season, one week later than it previously was. There was a proposal to push it to Week 10 that did not pass … Owners also adjusted the emergency third quarterback rule which was brought back last season. In 2024, teams will be allowed to designate a practice squad player in that role and elevate him an unlimited number of times throughout the season. Previously a third quarterback had to be on the active roster. All other non-quarterback practice squadders will be limited to three elevations per season.

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