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.