Giants’ Saquon Barkley prepared to leave in free agency

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates a Giants touchdown during the first half against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants may be preparing for the departure of Saquon Barkley in free agency since they haven’t been too aggressive in retaining his services. General manager Joe Schoen clearly has an idea of how much he’s willing to spend at the running back position, and even $10.1 million last year was hard to finalize.

However, while Barkley wants to stay in New York and has expressed his desire to be a Giant long-term, he has since come to peace with the idea of departing and moving to a new team. Schoen recently stated that he intended to speak with Barkley’s agents at the NFL Combine, but that doesn’t mean any negotiations will take place or a deal will materialize.

The Giants would have to spend a bit more than $12 million in guaranteed money if they franchise-tag Barkley again, but he just wants a fair deal that justifies his value.

Barkley’s Future and Market Value

Now 26 years old, Barkley has put a minimum of 13 games over the past three consecutive seasons, including 14 in 2023, tallying 1,242 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. Another team with playoff considerations and money to spend could see Barkley as an integral piece.

In fact, Ryan Leaf of Good Morning Football said last week that Jim Harbaugh, who recently became the Los Angeles Chargers head coach, has Barkley at the top of his free agent wishlist.

It does seem as though the Giants will have competition for Barkley on the open market, but a multi-deal with guaranteed money to a running back doesn’t seem like their preferred path. With Daniel Jones’s contract holding them back from spending, they still have a few big decisions to make on his future and investing elsewhere. They have to decide on Xavier McKinney, their star free safety who is coming off his best season.

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