The most likely outcome for Saquon Barkley ahead of free agency might just be the franchise tag. According to Ian Rappoport of NFL Network, the New York Giants will franchise tag Barkley if they can reach a long-term deal with QB Daniel Jones before the deadline.
Tagging Barkley would cost $10,091,000, per OverTheCap. This may be the only way for the Giants to retain Barkley this offseason after the superstar running back rejected New York’s initial offer of $12.5 million per season.
New York Giants could franchise tag Saquon Barkley
“Figuring out his price has been difficult, but they’re working on it,” Rappoport said of a Daniel Jones deal. However, according to Pat Leonard of Daily News, Jones’s new reps are seeking a deal worth over $45 million per year. This could complicate matters and force the Giants to tag Jones instead of Barkley to maintain exclusive negotiating rights with their franchise quarterback.
If the Giants tag Jones, they will be unable to place the tag on Barkley. New York must choose one or the other to franchise tag if they are unable to agree to long-term extensions with either of their prized free agents ahead of the Tuesday deadline to use the tag.
Barkley and Big Blue have had negotiations and GM Joe Schoen is “cautiously optimistic” that the Giants will be able to re-sign both Saquon and Daniel Jones. However, Schoen also admitted that there is a “walk-away” number in place for negotiations with Barkley.
Undoubtedly, the value of the 2023 franchise tag is significantly less than what Saquon Barkley is seeking on average annually from his contract extension. The franchise tag is also a totally guaranteed one-year contract, meaning the Giants would have to eat the full $10 million cap hit with no wiggle room. If they reach an extension deal with Barkley, New York could backload the contract and lower his 2023 cap hit.
The New York Giants intend to extend Saquon Barkley’s contract this offseason. However, the difficulties negotiating a new deal with Daniel Jones could force them to place the tag on their superstar running back. The deadline to use the franchise tag is Tuesday, so a decision will come soon.