The New York Giants are running against the clock with only five days remaining to finalize an extension with star running back Saquon Barkley. Failing this, Barkley will be locked into a $10.1 million franchise tag.
Barkley’s Dilemma with Franchise Tag
Barkley has already voiced his concern over playing on the tag. It presents a challenging choice: forego the 2023 season or concede to his fate, cash in, and then face free agency in 2024.
The crux of Barkley’s expectations revolves around a long-term deal that offers substantial guaranteed money. The year-on-year base salary is not his primary concern. Instead, the guaranteed sum at the end of the contract is his focus, regardless of the running back position’s depreciated value in recent seasons and the constant looming threat of injuries.
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GM Joe Schoen’s Resistance and Current Stalemate
General Manager Joe Schoen’s reluctance to meet Barkley’s financial demands is not a reflection on Barkley as a player. Instead, it relates to the team’s financial strategy, particularly regarding overspending in vulnerable positions. Regrettably, the Giants remain unyielding, and Barkley’s representatives continue to uphold their requests.
Dianna Russini from ESPN reports that the situation is at a stalemate, with the deadline quickly closing in on July 17.
“As we near the deadline for the Giants and Saquon Barkley to strike a long-term deal, I’m told the two sides remain at a stalemate. The deadline to strike a long-term deal is Monday 4pm.”
Potential Outcomes and Barkley’s Value to the Giants
Should both parties fail to reach a mutual agreement, Barkley will likely have no choice but to play on the franchise tag. He would earn a guaranteed $10.1 million and aim for a long-term deal after his age-26 season.
Last season, Barkley showcased his worth, rushing for 1,312 yards and catching 57 passes for 338 yards, resulting in 10 total touchdowns. His second career Pro Bowl appearance underlined his invaluable contribution to the Giants. However, as the Giants are expected to shift towards a more pass-oriented strategy, this would lead to fewer touches for the running back position.