The Giants hold all the cards in Saquon Barkley contract saga

saquon barkley, new york giants, daniel jones
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrate Jones' second touchdown in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford. Nfl Ny Giants Vs Chicago Bears

The New York Giants and running back Saquon Barkley face a ticking clock, with a 4 PM deadline to reach a contractual compromise.

Currently, negotiations seem far from reaching a consensus. However, the Giants have upped the ante, raising the guaranteed money offer to $22 million from an initial $19.5 million. Despite this increased offer, the yearly salary on the table has been reduced as the team strives to maintain a financial balance.

Barkley’s Impact on Giants’ Offense

Barkley indisputably acts as a catalyst for the offense, recording an impressive 1,312 rushing yards last season, complemented by 338 receiving yards and a total of 10 touchdowns.

Big Decisions Loom

As a 26-year-old player, Barkley now has a significant decision to make: accept the franchise tag and a $10.1 million salary, instigate a move away from the team that drafted him or settle for a compromise that might not fully meet his initial contract aspirations.

Given the diminishing value of the running back position in recent off-seasons – exemplified by the Minnesota Vikings’ surprising cut of the consistently dominant Dalvin Cook — general manager Joe Schoen is sticking to his hard-nosed negotiation approach.

Weighing Risks and Rewards

For Barkley, opting to sit out a year during his prime to force an extension or a trade would be a considerable gamble. The assured $10.1 million paycheck seems more likely to be the more appealing option, eliminating any concerns about Barkley’s availability for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.

If Barkley delivers another exceptional season, the Giants could potentially tag him again with a $12 million offer, providing him with a total guaranteed amount of $22 million.

The Giants Hold the Leverage

At this point, it’s clear that the Giants hold all the cards, leaving Barkley with little choice but to accept a deal that might not meet his initial expectations at the beginning of free agency.