The New York Giants have big decisions to make with their top free agents this offseason. QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley are both due for extensions with their rookie contracts expiring. Jones has reportedly set himself a lofty pricetag this week after making an agent change with free agency on the horizon.
The Giants are determined to extend Daniel Jones, but at what cost is the question. If Jones’ price tag continues to rise, New York may no longer be able to afford to extend Saquon Barkley.
Giants may have to let Barkley walk to extend Jones
The NFL franchise tag window opens today and runs until March 7. The Giants could utilize the franchise tag on Daniel Jones, locking him into a one-year fully-guaranteed contract worth $32.4 million. But right now, the Giants are determined to sign Daniel Jones to a long-term extension.
“Jones’ presence in the huddle in 2023 is really not up for debate in the minds of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll,” according to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post. “Jones will return for a fifth season as the starting quarterback, one way or another. The Giants prefer it to be on a multi-year contract (five years is optimal for the team) that eases the salary-cap hit in 2023 (five years, $190 million is in the ballpark), but the fallback of the franchise tag of $32.4 million for the 2023 season is available, though an option neither side wants to see transpire.”
Considering the Giants’ reported determination to extend Daniel Jones despite the high cost, it is worth noting that New York and Saquon Barkley have a reported “gap” in contract valuation. “The Giants are not going to go much higher than an annual average of $12.5 million,” according to Paul Schwartz. Barkley reportedly rejected the Giants’ initial offer of $12 million during the regular season.
Schwartz adds, “The Giants have little interest in having Barkley play the 2023 season on the franchise tag for $10.1 million because they are unwilling to eat up so much of their cap space on a running back.”
The Giants are unwilling to dedicate a large sum of their 2023 salary cap space to Barkley, but they are willing to allocate the funds to Daniel Jones if necessary. The Giants would like to retain both players, but Jones is clearly being prioritized over Barkley. If Daniel Jones’ price tag continues to rise, the New York Giants may be left with no choice but to pay up for the quarterback and let running back Saquon Barkley test the open market.