Giants Pick Up RB Saquon Barkley’s Fifth-Year Option

As we all expected, Saquon Barkley will be sticking around New York through at least the 2022 season. The Giants have picked up the star running back’s fifth-year option, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

[RELATED: 2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Barkley will earn a guaranteed base salary of $7.217MM during that 2022 campaign. As things currently stand, Barkley would have the ninth-highest cap hit at his position that season.

Considering the modest salary, it’s hardly a surprise that the Giants have made this move. Since he was selected with the second-overall pick in the 2018 draft, Barkley has establish himself as one of the top running backs in the NFL. He had a historic rookie campaign where he compiled 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns in 16 games. He had an equally impressive 5.4 yards per touch in 2019, but he missed three games thanks to a high ankle sprain.

Most of us are familiar with Barkley’s 2020 campaign. The 24-year-old only saw time in two games before succumbing to a torn ACL. The injury ultimately ended his season, although Schefter reported earlier today that the running back is on track to be ready for the start of the 2021 season. Considering the short shelf life of running backs, it’s a good sign that Barkley is seemingly recovering well from the injury.

Following the recent trend of teams dumping first-round running backs following their rookie contracts, there have been some questions about whether Barkley would stick around New York long term. While Giants owner John Mara previously stated that the organization wasn’t in any rush to extend the Pro Bowler, he also made it clear that he wants Barkley to stick around New York.

“We’re not in any hurry to do that,” Mara said at the time. “We fully expect him to be as good as new. … We hope he’s going to be a Giant for life. At the appropriate time, we’ll start those discussions.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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