Saquon Barkley, the star running back for the New York Giants, is facing a crucial decision as the deadline for franchise-tagged players to secure long-term deals approaches. Despite expressing his desire to continue with the Giants, Barkley is now considering a Week 1 holdout, according to ESPN. He has been vocal about his reluctance to accept the franchise tag and has yet to sign the $10.9 million offer. With negotiations at a standstill and time running out, Barkley may be employing a strategic move to exert pressure and secure a favorable long-term contract.
Body: Barkley’s stance on the franchise tag and a potential holdout is not entirely new. The former first-round draft pick had previously hinted at the possibility of sitting out the entire 2023 season if a contract extension was not agreed upon. Currently, Barkley and the Giants find themselves in a stalemate, with both sides reportedly rejecting or rescinding contract offers throughout the offseason.
If Barkley fails to sign a multiyear deal by the July 17 deadline at 4 p.m. ET, he will be obligated to play the upcoming season under the one-year tag or risk forfeiting the guaranteed salary by sitting out. Recognizing the importance of this deadline, Barkley is likely using the threat of a Week 1 holdout as a final attempt to push for more favorable terms in the negotiations.
Reports indicate that Barkley is seeking a contract exceeding $14 million per year, which would place him among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. The Giants have extended an offer worth $13 million annually, with $26 million allocated for the first two years. However, this offer was made with the condition that it would be rescinded if the franchise tag was applied. Barkley took to social media to dispute this offer, further complicating the negotiations.
Only two other running backs currently earn more than $14 million per year: Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints and Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers. Barkley played a vital role in Coach Brian Daboll’s offense during the team’s 2022 rejuvenation, accumulating 1,650 yards from scrimmage. However, injuries have limited his performance over the past two seasons.
As the deadline for franchise-tagged players to secure long-term contracts approaches, Saquon Barkley’s future with the New York Giants hangs in the balance. Considering a Week 1 holdout, Barkley aims to leverage negotiations and secure a more lucrative and long-term agreement. With both sides yet to reach a compromise, the coming days will prove crucial in determining Barkley’s presence on the field and his future with the Giants.