Saquon Barkley and the Giants can’t agree on a long-term deal

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Barkley has been a mainstay of the Giants’ offense since the team drafted him No. 2 overall in 2018, and he’s given the team an identity as it moves past longtime quarterback Eli Manning. Was.

He was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season, and his explosive runs helped him become the face of the league, even as ankle and knee injuries kept him out of 21 games from 2019 to 2021. kept.

Barkley returned last season to help lead the Giants (9-7-1) to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. Behind his 1,312 rushing yards on 295 carries (both fourth best in the NFL) and 10 rushing touchdowns, the Giants were a top-five rushing team and scored 21 touchdowns on the ground compared to 17 passing.

The team’s decision to offer the franchise tag to Barkley has been a point of debate in NFL circles, with even members of the Giants’ rivals speaking out on his behalf. In April, the Cowboys’ defensive end Micah Parsons debated on Twitter That Barkley is the centerpiece of the Giants’ offense. He wrote, “Monday morning plan is not to let Saquon Barkley beat us!!” He wrote, “Make him pay!”

Barkley is probably looking for a deal on par with the highest earners in his job.

His four-year rookie deal was worth $31.19 million and the team optioned him for $7.2 million last season.

The 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey has an average salary of $16 million and the Saints’ Alvin Kamara is earning $15 million. Derrick Henry of the Titans, Nick Chubb of the Browns and Joe Mixon of the Bengals each make at least $12 million per year on their deals.

Barclay A report mocked last week He is said to have demanded $16 million a year and continues to load his social media accounts with images of his off-season workouts.

But he may be negotiating hard to implement better market value for his individual play and running backs whose average compensation is declining.

“The trend right now is not to pay for running backs, so everyone is saying, ‘Well, we don’t need to do that,'” said Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, adding that to maintain Will need a top performer to sign or sign a major long-term deal to reverse the trend.

Josh Jacobs of the Raiders and Tony Pollard of the Cowboys also failed to reach long-term agreements with their teams and are expected to play under the franchise tag, which is the average salary of the top five players at that player’s position. The running back figure pales in comparison to what quarterbacks ($32.4 million this year), offensive linemen ($18.24 million) or even tight ends ($11.35 million) make.

If Barkley accepts the Giants’ tag, the two sides cannot negotiate a long-term deal until after the end of the regular season.

If he does not accept the tag, Barkley may stop and not play. He would not be paid if he missed training camp dates, but he would lose pay if he had to sit out games. The Giants could also rescind the franchise tag, a highly unlikely move that would make Barkley an unrestricted free agent.

More Likely Outcome: Barkley temporarily opts out to vent his displeasure but ends up reporting to camp. He has repeatedly stated that he wants to retire as a veteran and has transferred his representation to facilitate negotiations. He is currently represented by Kim Miale of Roc Nation and Ed Perry of Creative Artists Agency.

When the regular season is over, the Giants and Barkley could begin talks that would likely end with a deal. He’s been a steady figure in a locker room that has seen three different head coaches during Barkley’s tenure, and the team’s reliance on a running attack of Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones won’t subside anytime soon.