Giants’ Saquon Barkley sends message with refusal to sign franchise tag

new york giants, saquon barkley

The New York Giants’ offseason programming begins on Monday and one of the team’s star players will be absent. Running back Saquon Barkley will not be signing the franchise tag before Monday and, therefore, will not be eligible to participate in the offseason program, according to Kim Jones of Newsday.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley refusing to sign franchise tag

The Giants placed the franchise tag on Barkley earlier this offseason after the two sides were unable to agree to a long-term extension ahead of the franchise tag deadline. Barkley rejected New York’s initial contract offer midway through the 2022 regular season and, currently, there is “no outstanding offer right now,” per Giants general manager Joe Schoen.

New York is prepared to have Barkley play on the $10.1 million franchise tag this season. Barkley, however, is attempting to regain some leverage in contract negotiations.

Following the crash of the running back market in free agency this offseason, Barkley lost much of his leverage. In an attempt to seek an annual wage nearing $15 million or more in free agency, Barkley rejected an offer of $12.5 million per season during the Giants’ bye week. That offer now seems more than fair given the state of the market.

Giants QB Daniel Jones hosted a training session with the offense in Arizona last week. Barkley was in attendance, demonstrating his continued commitment to the team and to winning football games. However, his decision not to sign the franchise tag and participate in offseason programming sends a message to the Giants’ brass letting them know that he is not happy with the franchise tag.

According to Ralph Vacchiano, Barkley is not expected to hold out of training camp. However, those plans could change depending on contract negotiations.

The Giants don’t have much of an interest in signing Saquon Barkley to a long-term deal at this point, I’m told. They tried and failed because the sides weren’t close. The $10.1M franchise tag is a good deal for them and they’re content to leave things that way for now.

Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports via Twitter

Considering the Giants’ reported lack of interest in extending Barkley and the running back’s desire to sign a long-term deal, a stalemate seems inevitable.

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