How much would the Giants have to pay Saquon Barkley on the franchise tag in 2024?

nfl: new york giants at buffalo bills, saquon barkley
Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants project to have around $47.6 million available in salary space for the 2024 season. The $32 million salary hit from Leonard Williams and $19 million hit from Adoree Jackson will be off the books, so the team will have to address those positions and add a bit of talent.

However, they still have a big decision regarding star running back Saquon Barkley and his future with the team. It is no secret that Saquon prefers to stay with the Giants and finish his career with the team that drafted him 2nd overall in 2018.

This year, they have them under contract at $10.1 million with an $8.1 million base salary. However, it is unlikely they will extend them on a multi-deal; instead, they will use the franchise tag on him once again, which will boost his earnings quite significantly.

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The Giants Can’t Afford to Lose Saquon Barkley

Barkley, who is still young at 26 years old and has a few years left in his prime, would earn $13.1 million on the franchise tag next year, a reasonable cost for a player that not only keeps the locker room together but also offers the offense a chance at moving the football, given their lackluster passing attack.

Ideally, the Giants find a way to reinforce the offense, whether that be drafting a rookie quarterback or investing heavily in the offensive line. One way or another, Barkley remains a catalyst, and his impact would be compounded if they managed to improve some better pieces around him.

This season, Barkley has rushed for 697 yards and scored five all-purpose touchdowns. He’s also contributed 168 receiving yards on 28 receptions. The Giants have gotten him heavily involved in the passing game around the goal line, which has seemingly provided some positive results. Without a competent passing game, opposing defenses are able to stack the box and keep Barkley contained. They’ve been trying to solve the offense’s struggles for years, and Brkley has been tortured physically because of it.

Nonetheless, he seems keen on returning to the Giants next season since the franchise tag is fully guaranteed, and he would walk away with essentially $23 million over two years, which theoretically may have been even more beneficial than a 3-4 year deal that had a similar amount of guaranteed money, but retrains his ability to move on if desired.