In a bit of offseason drama for the New York Giants, running back Saquon Barkley reportedly won’t sign his franchise tender with the team, making him ineligible for the team’s offseason program that begins on Monday.
I’m told Saquon Barkley will not be signing the franchise tag & therefore will not be eligible to participate when the #NYG offseason program begins Monday. More to come on @NewsdaySports.
— Kim Jones (@KimJonesSports) April 12, 2023
It seems like both sides want to come to an agreement on a long-term deal, but nothing has materialized just yet. The Giants have until July 15 to sign the former first-round pick to a long-term deal before the start of the season.
The tag the Giants placed on Barkley is worth just under $10.1 million. Back in the middle of February, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported that there was a belief that a deal could get done if the two sides could meet at $14 million per year.
After last season’s playoff defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles, Barkley mentioned that he wasn’t looking to reset the market for running backs.
“I’m not really too concerned about resetting any [running back] markets or anything like that,” he said. “I’m realistic.”
He seems to just want to get paid what he believes he’s worth. When it comes to the average annual value of contracts for running backs, San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey tops the league at just over $16 million.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is right behind him at $15 million.
Last season, Barkley had a strong comeback season. After lacking in production and struggling with different ailments during the 2021 season, he ran for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2022 campaign. He made the second Pro Bowl of his career and finished third in the voting for Comeback Player of the Year honors.
It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the situation as the offseason progresses. The Giants were able to take care of starting quarterback Daniel Jones with a lucrative four-year, $160 million deal this offseason.
Giants owner John Mara recently expressed a desire to keep Barkley in New York for the rest of his career.
“I told Saquon we want him to be a Giant for his entire career,” Mara said. “He provides leadership, he’s a great player and we’d like to be able to get something done with him at some point. The running back market is what it is right now, but I’m still hopeful at some point we will come to an agreement.”
The 26-year-old has spent his entire career with the Giants since being selected by them with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.