Giants must sign Saquon Barkley to long-term deal

The New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley are at a crossroads again this offseason. The window to apply the franchise tag to players headed for free agency opened this week now the dance begins.

Barkley is angling for a multi-year deal with guarantees that will make him a Giant for the foreseeable future. The Giants are wrestling with the idea of paying a running back huge money in a league in which the position has been getting devalued with each passing season.

Last year, the Giants slapped the tag on Barkley and eventually came to terms on a modified one-year deal. This year, the tag price will be approximately $12.1 million and Barkley will again refuse to sign the tender which will send both camps back to the negotiating table.

WFAN hosts Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber both chimed in on how they believe the Giants should handle the situation this time around.

“The New York Giants have to keep Saquon Barkley,” Evan said. “But let me start off with the number one thing that kept jumping into my head. Oct. 31, 2023 that was the NFL trade deadline. Let me ask you this, if they couldn’t trade Saquon Barkley on Oct. 30 and October 31, why months later?

“Would it be OK to way let him walk away for nothing? That seems like a complete, utter contradiction. So, in my opinion, the Giants made their decision on October 30. They didn’t trade Saquon, they wouldn’t even listen on trade offers. So what possibly could have changed?”

Barber, a former All-Pro running back who is the team’s all-time leading rusher, believes the Giants have to look behind the numbers at the intrinsic value Barkley brings to the franchise and its fan base.

“Saquon Barkley is not fully necessary, but my emotion to Saquon is something that I think a lot of Giant fans feel and it’s, I love this kid,” Tiki said. “I loved him when he came in.

“He is the perfect example of a star player that you would want on this team. So emotionally, you want to hold on to that guy because he’s an example of guys who are the favorite player on the team, finishing their careers as a Giant or whatever team it is. . . I feel like he should be that guy.”

Both sentiments are valid. The Giants have to weigh their options here as they have very little salary cap room to fit all of their key personnel under one roof.

The Giants have until March 5 to place the franchise tag on Barkley. Free agency begins on March 13.

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