Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants resolved their contract differences this summer and now Barkley is safely back in the fold for the 2023 season.
But what about after that? Barkley will be in the same soup he was in this March — a player eligible for the franchise tag with no long-term deal in place.
Giants co-owner John Mara once stated that he wanted Barkley to be a Giant ‘for life’ but that sentiment has seemingly been overridden by general manager Joe Schoen, who is reading the running back market and playing it as it lays.
So, how does Barkley feel about his future? He still wants to be a Giant for life.
“Oh, yeah. I don’t think that really changed,” Barkley told the New York Post on Sunday at a promotional event at Chelsea Piers. “They know how I feel. I’m not really too focused on that right now.”
No, he’s more focused on adding to his legacy as one of the top backs of his era. That is why he caved on his holdout and settled for a slightly altered version of the franchise tag price.
The tag was worth $10.1 million for one season and Barkley signed a deal worth up to $11 million but with $2 million in the form of a signing bonus.
“Once I made the decision I was going to show up and I was going to be there and do my job, you got to put all that aside,” Barkley said. “Got to be mature about it.”
Another Pro Bowl season from Barkley would mean…what exactly?
Not much because the game has changed and the role of the running back has changed with it. Teams are seeing that running backs have a short prime and many have switched to the ‘committee’ approach.
Barkley is a bit of an exception, but he has had a career set back by injuries. That is a fact that does not bode well for him in any contract negotiations despite his exploits on the field.
We won’t know the outcome until next March. The Giants aren’t about to move off of their spot with Barkley, especially if he is a year older.
Barkley, if he wants to remain a Giant beyond this season, will likely have to take the Giants’ offer — again.