Giants Legend Carl Banks Warns Saquon Barkley To Not Act Like A ‘Principled Fool’ Amid Contract Dispute, Falling RB Market

Videos by OutKick

Supporting the NFL running backs’ campaign to up the position’s pay has been a noble effort by players, teams, fans, writers, etc.

But will the fiery discourse HELP these players in the long term, with their production and brand?

According to former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks, the “contract holdout” threat issued by elite runners like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs is a fool’s errand.

Speaking with Bob Papa on the “Bleav in Giants” podcast, Banks warned Saquon not to abandon his notoriety, respect and future with the team for the sake of a few million more.

Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks. (Photo by Karjean Levine/Getty Images)
Running back Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Carl Banks Warns Saquon To Play For Legacy Instead of Counting Dollars

Carl Banks put out a message, specifically for Saquon, to essentially sign his franchise tag, play next season and hopefully retain all of the good faith he’s accrued in New York.

He warned Barkley not to act as a ‘principled fool‘ now that running backs are banding together on a mission to get paid for their ‘goodwill’ production (i.e., they’re kinda unionizing).

“I am saying to you… that you have more value than you have leverage,” Banks said.

On the same day of his contract negotiation deadline, Barkley appeared on a podcast episode where he warned the Giants he’d tell them to “f**k off” if they went without paying him top-RB money.

Banks’ comments, while sounding “heated” by most listeners’ viewpoints, emphasized that a good relationship with the organization will one day prove more valuable than the minutia of conducting business in the NFL.

He continued, “The only way that your value and your brand value stays high is to do the game that you love, that you’re great at. The system is what has suppressed running back salaries. He’s not alone … sitting out doesn’t send a message. It won’t change the system.

“I am saying this to you: Don’t be a principled fool. And I say that because, you could sit at home and nobody is paying the price. The games are going to start on time. Training camp won’t stop because you’re not there… Come in with your integrity intact and be enthusiastic. Be angry — you should be angry.”

(Photo by Lonnie Major/Allsport/Getty Images)

History Is Made By The Patient (And Wise)

Carl Banks solidified himself in the pantheon of Giants players as part of the championship 1986 and 1990 teams.

A perfect complement to the Giants GOAT Lawrence Taylor, Banks knew how to play second fiddle and maintain an elite status in the Big Apple.

While it may have required some compromise, Banks played exceptionally and is celebrated by Giants fans as the hard-nosed disruptor on the defensive line.

(Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images)

As the drama of RB pay carries on, fans in New York objecting to a sizable extension for Saquon (reportedly worth $14-16 million a year) are taking no qualms with Barkley’s production. Barkley finished last season as the fourth-leading rusher and contributed a sizable portion of New York’s offensive output.

The issue remains that running backs’ consistent production isn’t linked to wins, at least compared to past decades of NFL football, so the big contract would end up being a bad deal for New York.

Barkley now faces signing the prorated $10.1 million franchise tag or sitting out the year waiting for a new contract.

Las Vegas’ Josh Jacobs seemingly made up his mind by leaving LV on Monday, ahead of Tuesday’s training camps.

What will Saquon do?

Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
Check us out on TikTok

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

Leave a Reply