The New York Giants made a controversial decision when they drafted Saquon Barkley number two overall. They basically decided they were building their offense around a running back in today’s passing centered NFL, and committed to likely handing out a huge contract to a running back down the line.
Barkley’s next contract has been a distant problem for the organization for a while, but going into the 2021 season, we’re getting closer to the time when the Giants will need to figure it out.
While the front office did make the expected move and pick up his fifth year option, there’s plenty of speculation so far about the deal Barkley will eventually get after that option runs out.
He was named to an NFL.com All-Paid Team as the top running back, and it doesn’t look like anyone else at the position is headed for as big a deal. His projected average salary falls between $15M and $17M, which is nothing to scoff at.
Will Barkley get the next big running back deal?
Barkley also recorded 91 receptions in ’18, the most all-time by a rookie running back. Since then, though, Barkley has played just 15 games, and he missed the final 14 games last season. Even so, in those 15 games, he produced 1,535 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns. He’s still been highly productive, but the Giants are surely interested to see how the 24-year-old’s body holds up this upcoming season.
The article predicts that Barkley is the next hope for other top running backs when it comes to raising the salary floor of the position.
The next couple of seasons will likely be the determining factor in whether Barkley gets a groundbreaking deal or not. This fact is even mentioned in the article, as Barkley’s health is listed as his one weakness since coming into the league.
The Giants have obviously put a lot of faith in him by drafting him where they did, but at the end of the day, it’s only worth giving a huge deal to a player that can stay on the field.
The hope for everyone, of course, is that this season is the start of Barkley putting the last couple of injury plagued years behind him.