New York Giants‘ acclaimed running back, Saquon Barkley, is currently in a holding pattern, keenly awaiting a long-term contract extension that would solidify his stay with the team that drafted him for the upcoming years.
However, up to this moment, Joe Schoen, the Giants’ general manager, has staunchly refused to overspend on the running back position, irrespective of the player in question.
Understanding the Devaluation of the Running Back Position
Schoen’s decision doesn’t particularly target Barkley, rather it mirrors a broader trend within the league, depreciating the value of the running back position.
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Saquon Barkley: Beyond a Traditional Running Back
Nevertheless, Barkley transcends the traditional role of a running back. With his innate ability to receive passes and initiate explosive game-changing plays in a flash, Barkley elevates beyond the norm. Furthermore, he’s a critical and integral force in the locker room, imparting leadership and fostering a positive environment.
Barkley and the Giants’ Road to Progress
For several seasons, Barkley has borne the brunt of the team’s misfortune, marred by years of losing. The 2022 season, however, provided a glimmer of hope and marked the inception of positive advancement, free of imminent fallbacks.
Barkley’s Desire to Remain a Giant
Barkley has never concealed his preference to continue his career with the New York Giants. As the July 17 deadline for an extension looms, discussions regarding his future have intensified.
Rapoport’s Insight into Barkley’s Future
NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed:
“First of all, the Giants and Saquon Barkley, he said recently at his (youth) camp, he said he’s not going to make a definitive declaration of what he is going to do in the 2023 season until we get into that deadline and to be sure there is still room here for a deal,” Rapoport explained. “Talks are back on between the Giants and Saquon Barkley. Now, we’ll see if they can get to a point where he could become one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.
Barkley’s Outstanding Performance
Barkley’s most recent season boasted 1,650 yards from scrimmage, his second-highest career record, trailing only his stellar rookie season. This performance earned him a second Pro Bowl appearance and placed him third in the Comeback Player of the Year voting.
Giants’ Offense Strategy: A Shift in Direction
Undoubtedly, Barkley significantly enhances the offense. However, his target share is anticipated to diminish as the team is projected to adopt a more pass-heavy strategy. This shift is further evidenced by the additions of Darren Waller, Parris Campbell, and the drafting of Jalin Hyatt, indicating a preference for airborne plays over ground tactics, aligning with another emerging league trend.
The Giants’ Leverage: The Franchise Tag
Nevertheless, Big Blue holds considerable leverage in these negotiations, having extended Saquon the $10.1 million franchise tag.
Barkley’s Dilemma: To Hold Out or Play?
Ultimately, Barkley faces a tough decision: forfeit $10 million by holding out or play and hope for an extension post the 2023 season. Given the current running back market dynamics, he may have no choice but to commit and strive for a favorable outcome.