New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley made one thing clear to the team after their disappointing season came to an end: don’t wait to make a contract decision.
Barkley is currently a candidate to be placed on the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, despite his wanting a long-term deal. The star running back emphasized his desire to move through the process quickly, whether it means he is brought back on the tag or allowed to test free agency.
Barkley doesn’t want to wait around for the Giants to make a decision
“They [tagged me] last year, so I’m numb to it,” said Barkley via the New York Daily News. “I don’t have any feelings toward that at all. [But] if you’re gonna do it, just don’t wait until March 5. Just get it over with. If not, let me go. Simple.”
After Barkley was tagged before last season, he threatened to hold out from appearing in training camp and playing in regular season games before a restructured deal prevented that. They had a choice between paying either him or quarterback Daniel Jones a lucrative contract, and they ultimately decided to hand a four-year, $160 million deal to Jones.
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Barkley’s heavy workload may force him to seek a fresher opportunity
As the running back faces another offseason with his future in question, it may be tough for the Giants to convince him to play under the franchise tag again. Barkley essentially carried the load for the Giants offense this season, playing in 79% of the team’s total offensive snaps despite missing three games early in the season.
With the quarterback carousel that was occurring, Barkley was tasked with being the main conductor of offense for the Giants when he was healthy. Out of the 14 games he played this season, he exceeded 15 rushing attempts in eight of them and had less than 10 attempts in just one game (Week 15 against the Saints).
Therefore, the increased workload would certainly warrant a hefty price, and Barkley knows his worth. Could this be the year that the Giants part ways with their star running back? Only time will tell.
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