The New York Giants kicked off training camp this week with running back Saquon Barkley shockingly in attendance despite rumors swirling for the past several weeks that the superstar would hold out over a contract dispute. Instead, the two sides came to an agreement on a one-year deal and Barkley is back in the building, joining the team for the start of camp.
Barkley spoke with the media following Thursday’s practice and shed insight into the negotiation process and detailed his reasons for showing up to training camp.
Saquon is disappointed by failed contract negotiations
“I could tell you I’m not disappointed, that would be a flat-out lie,” Barkley said. The Giants reportedly offered Barkley a contract worth $13 million per season, but as Joe Schoen said on Wednesday, the two sides were not able to “bridge the gap.”
“If I thought it was something respectable, I would have took it,” Barkley said when asked about the final offer he received from the Giants during their negotiations on a long-term contract.
Barkley speaks on the devaluation of running backs across the NFL
The ongoing devaluation of running backs across the NFL is a significant issue that has garnered much attention over the past few weeks. Barkley’s inability to agree to a long-term deal with the Giants became a major talking point as he and two other star running backs, Tony Pollard and Josh Jacobs, were smacked with the franchise tag this offseason.
“There’s a lot of running backs out here that are key points to helping teams have success in this league. The way that we are getting devalued, it’s not fair at all.”Saquon Barkley via SNY
Pollard and Jacobs will presumably holdout this summer with no new deals on the table for either of them, but after signing a one-year deal with the Giants, Barkley is back in the building and ready to compete this season.
Saquon Barkley came back to win a championship with the Giants
“Winning a championship was one of the reasons why I came in,” Barkley said, per The Giant Insider Newspaper.
He also noted that his love for the game compelled him to return. “For this year specifically, the best thing that I could do for myself would be coming back, going out there and playing the game that I love, playing for my teammates.”
The Giants are happy to welcome Barkley back as the team kicks off training camp in preparation for the upcoming 2023 season. Barkley is a major focal point for New York’s offense and the team will be relying on his elite talent as they look to make the playoffs for the second season in a row.