Saquon Barkley’s Contract Standoff: Will the Giants Keep Their Star Running Back?

Saquon Barkley’s future with the New York Giants remains uncertain as the deadline for franchise-tagged players to secure long-term deals approaches. Barkley repeatedly expressed his desire to stay with the Giants this offseason but with negotiations at a standstill, he is now considering a potential Week 1 holdout, according to ESPN.

“Barkley has made it clear the franchise tag is undesirable,” Dianna Russini reported Wednesday. “I’m told his availability for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys will be in serious question if he does not get a long-term deal from the Giants.”

This latest development is not entirely unexpected, as Barkley previously looked at the possibility of sitting out the entire 2023 season if he doesn’t receive a contract extension. Despite being offered the $10.9 million franchise tag, he has yet to sign the deal, indicating his desire for a more favorable long-term agreement.

If Barkley fails to reach a new deal by July 17 at 4 p.m. ET, he will be required to play the upcoming season under the one-year tag or risk forfeiting the tag’s guaranteed salary by choosing to sit out. Currently, talks between Barkley and the Giants have reached a stalemate, with both sides reportedly rejecting or rescinding contract offers throughout the offseason.

Barkley is said to be seeking a contract worth more than $14 million per year, which would position him among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. The Giants have extended an offer of $13 million annually with $26 million over the first two years, but disagreements over the terms of the deal persist. Barkley has publicly disputed the specifics of this offer on social media.

Currently, only two running backs in the league earn more than $14 million per year: Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints and Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers. Barkley, a key player in Coach Brian Daboll’s offense during the Giants’ resurgence in 2022, amassed an impressive 1,650 yards from scrimmage. However, injuries have hampered his performance over the past couple of seasons.

As the negotiations between Barkley and the Giants reach a critical juncture, the football world eagerly awaits the outcome, which will not only impact Barkley’s future but also have implications for the Giants’ offensive strategy heading into the upcoming season.

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