Saquon Barkley Contract Stalemate: Giants Long-Term Deal Uncertain
The New York Giants failed to sign Saquon Barkley to a long-term contract by the NFL deadline on Monday, just before training camp.
Barkley, 26, was offered the franchise tag in March for $10.09 million for the 2023 season. He rejected the tender, though. Barkley may sign and report to Giants training camp when it opens for veterans next Tuesday or hold out.
Since the Giants drafted him second overall in 2018, Barkley has earned two Pro Bowl selections. After Eli Manning retired, he was the team’s face. Barkley returned strong last season, leading the Giants to their first playoff appearance since 2016 despite ankle and knee injuries that sidelined him for 21 games between 2019 and 2021.
Even rival players supported Barkley after the Giants gave him the franchise tag. Teams’ reluctance to sign long-term running back contracts has lowered their market value.
Last season, the team exercised Barkley’s $7.2 million option on his four-year, $31.19 million rookie contract. Christian McCaffrey of the 49ers and Alvin Kamara of the Saints are his top earners. Barkley is reportedly seeking $16 million per year.
Barkley and the Giants face a difficult situation. After the season, he can negotiate a long-term deal if he accepts the franchise tag. If he rejects the tag, Barkley may not play and lose money. Barkley would become an unrestricted free agent if the Giants rescind the franchise tag, which is unlikely.
Barkley, represented by Kim Miale of Roc Nation and Ed Perry of Creative Artists Agency, wants to retire with the Giants. Negotiations will determine if they can reach a deal. Barkley has stabilized the team through several head coaches. Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones are crucial to the Giants’ offensive success.