The two parties have a deadline of July 17 to agree on a contract extension. Without that, Barkley will have no alternative but to play on the franchise tag, guaranteeing him $10.1 million.
Debunking Off-Season Rumors
This off-season has seen a flurry of rumors revolving around Barkley’s contract demands. However, Barkley personally dispelled one particular narrative on Wednesday afternoon. Pro Football Talk reported that Barkley was offered a contract valued at $13 million annually, including $26 million over the initial two seasons. Barkley refuted this claim, indicating it was inaccurate, along with various other pieces of information.
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Searching for Christian McCaffrey Money?
It was also suggested that Barkley was seeking a payout equivalent to that of Christian McCaffrey, which would provide him with an approximate $16 million per season. Adding to Wednesday’s reports, ESPN’s Dianna Russini raised questions about Saquon’s availability for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys if he doesn’t secure a long-term deal.
Barkley’s Limited Choices
Regrettably for Saquon, he finds himself cornered into signing the franchise tag and accepting the guaranteed $10.1 million. Forfeiting a prime year of his career would be an enormous error, especially considering the durability concerns inherent to the running back position.
A Stellar 2022 Performance with the Giants
Coming off a dominant 2022 campaign where he amassed 1,312 rushing yards, 338 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns, Barkley, a two-time Pro Bowl honoree, understandably desires a long-term extension that offers job security. However, the current NFL trend leans away from overcompensating running backs due to the valuation of the position.