Giants’ Saquon Barkley speaks out on contract talks

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Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) scores a rushing touchdown during the first half against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants face a crucial decision regarding the future of their star running back, Saquon Barkley. The Giants drafted Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has since become one of the most talented players in the league. However, as his rookie contract nears its end, the organization must decide whether to extend Barkley’s contract or let him test the free-agent market. There are several factors to consider in this decision-making process.

First, Barkley’s performance on the field has been spectacular. During his rookie season, he led the league in yards from scrimmage (2,028) while scoring 15 total touchdowns. His unique combination of speed, strength, and agility makes him a threat to score every time he touches the ball. When healthy, Barkley has proven to be a game-changing talent that elevates the Giants’ offense.

However, injuries have been a significant concern throughout Barkley’s young career. Most notably, he suffered a torn ACL during the 2020 season, causing him to miss most of the year. Additionally, Barkley has dealt with various other injuries that have limited his availability on the field. These health concerns must be taken into account when considering a long-term contract extension, as durability is a critical factor for any NFL player.

Barkley was offered a contract that paid him $12 million per season annually during the 2022 season, but he rejected the proposal in hopes of a more lucrative deal. Unfortunately, the Giants are no longer keen on signing Barkley to a big extension, even though he’s a generational talent with elite qualities.

Barkley spoke recently about the negotiations and mimicked what Joe Schoen said during last week’s press conference. Neither side has been talking much.

“Where do I stand with the Giants right now? It’s like what someone said the other day … it’s still April,” Barkley said via The Morning Call’s Keith Groller. “I haven’t had conversations with Joe [Schoen, the Giants GM] too much. So the best way I can handle it is to keep working. Whatever happens, happens.

“There are things I can’t really control right now. All I can control is how I will wake up every morning and stay with my goals and my passion. Even though I may not be with the team right now and not in the building, I don’t think anyone with the Giants is concerned about my work ethic and my teammates aren’t worried about how I’m preparing.”

The Giants simply can’t overpay for Saquon Barkley:

The Giants must consider the financial implications of extending Barkley’s contract. Elite running backs can command significant salaries, and the Giants must weigh the value of investing heavily in the position against allocating resources to address other team needs. The NFL has seen a trend of devaluing the running back position, with many successful teams opting for a “running back by committee” approach to manage costs and mitigate injury risk.

Ultimately, the decision to extend Saquon Barkley’s contract comes down to balancing risk and reward. Barkley’s immense talent and potential make him an attractive candidate for a long-term extension. However, his injury history and the financial implications of such a deal add an element of risk that cannot be ignored.

If the New York Giants can negotiate a contract extension that adequately addresses Barkley’s health concerns and provides flexibility for the team’s financial future, retaining their star running back would be in their best interest. Barkley’s impact on the field cannot be understated, and when healthy, he has the potential to be the focal point of the Giants’ offense for years to come. However, the organization must approach this decision cautiously and consider all factors before making a long-term commitment.

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