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Uh oh… there may be Big trouble coming for the New York Giants.
Saquon Barkley, the face of the G-Men’s offense, continues to sit in a contract stalemate with the team as the Giants push a franchise tag while Barkley vies for an elite contract.
The negotiations face a July 17 deadline for Barkley to sign his franchise tag. If he holds out, the Giants could be in store for a messy situation with their franchise player.
With the deadline approaching, reports are surfacing that Barkley will remain steadfast and not sign the tag; he now faces the possibility of sitting for several weeks in 2023-24 until a contract is complete.
The Giants’ current offer for Barkley is a one-year, $10.1 million franchise tender. He previously rejected an extension offer that would pay him $14 million annually. The NFL’s highest-paid running back, Christian McCaffrey, is paid $16 million per year.
Is Barkley worth his salt as the league’s highest-paid player at his position? Many would argue no, which sheds light on the Giants’ hesitance.
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On Wednesday, NFL reporter Dianna Russini provided an update on Barkley and stated that his availability for Week 1 is “in serious question.”
“Barkley has made it clear the franchise tag is undesirable,” Russini noted. “I’m told his availability for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys will be in serious question if he does not get a long-term deal from the Giants.”
As previously reported on OutKick, the Giants opted to franchise tag (non-exclusive) Barkley in March, but the former No. 2 overall pick has been adamant about holding out for a new deal.
Last season, Barkley ran for a whopping 1,312 rushing yards (fourth in the NFL) and tied the team’s lead for receptions (57).
The running back’s commitment and production are outstanding; Barkley’s a respected team leader; he’s eased up injury concerns over the past two years … so why are the Giants reticent with bringing Barkley back?
The one major con for the Giants’ front office is the weak RB depth for the offense. With a stronger backfield, the Giants could afford to let Saquon walk. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Barkley has been vocal about a return to New York. The Giants, on the other hand, have been of the opinion that running backs shouldn’t receive hefty deals — a model that has worked for plenty of offensively adept teams.
Fans in New York will know in a week’s time if the Giants and Saquon are set up to last or fall apart.