Giants Table Contract Talks With RB Saquon Barkley

The Giants and running back Saquon Barkley engaged in contract negotiations during their bye week, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of report. The two sides “did not come close” to reaching an agreement, per Adam Schefter of, so talks will be tabled until after the season.

Earlier this month, we learned that New York GM Joe Schoen and Barkley had discussed the possibility of an extension, and we also heard that Schoen did not want negotiations with any of his players to continue beyond the bye week. So, now that the bye is in the rearview mirror — and given that the Giants-Barkley talks apparently did not generate much momentum — Barkley will play out the remainder of the season without a new contract in place.

Per Rapoport and Garafolo, Barkley wants to be paid at or near the top of the RB market, which is presently topped by Christian McCaffrey‘s $16MM/year accord that features $30MM in full guarantees. Barkley’s camp sees McCaffrey as a direct comparable, and they have plenty of support for their position. In 2022, Barkley is averaging nearly 100 rushing yards per game while maintaining an excellent 4.8 YPC rate. He is not being used as much as a receiver as he was during his dynamic rookie season in 2018, but he is still plenty capable in that regard, having caught 28 balls for 189 yards through eight games.

Another arrow in Barkley’s quiver is the fact that the salary cap will be considerably higher than it was when many of his well-compensated peers — McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, and Dalvin Cook, for example — signed their deals. On the other hand, the Giants’ reticence to authorize a record-setting contract is explained by Barkley’s injury history, a crowded free agent class of running backs, and the relative value of the running back position.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic believes a franchise tag for Barkley — which is expected to check in at about $12MM — is inevitable (Twitter link). The problem is that QB Daniel Jones is also eligible for free agency in 2023 since the Giants declined to exercise the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, and Big Blue may want to deploy a franchise or transition tag on him. As a team can only use one tag per season, Schoen could have a difficult decision to make. However, he will be armed with at least $60MM in cap space due to his salary-shedding maneuvers this offseason, so he will have options as he navigates several difficult contractual situations.

Rapoport and Garafolo add that the Giants also talked contract with 2019 fourth-rounder Julian Love during the bye. The versatile DB has seen a significant spike in playing time in his platform campaign, as his 92% defensive snap share is easily the highest mark of his career. He has posted 58 tackles and an interception and is currently ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 34th-best safety out of 84 qualifiers. Like Barkley, Love will still be seeking a new deal when the calendar flips to 2023.

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