Giants, Saquon Barkley Resume Contract Talks

For the time being, Saquon Barkley remains on track for free agency. He would be be one of several veterans available on the open market, but a Giants agreement is still a possibility.

Player and team resumed contract talks earlier this week during the Combine, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports. That falls in line with the previously-established plan for both sides in particular and common practice in general around the NFL when it comes to negotiations with pending free agents. Anderson adds that the meeting is believed to have gone well.

Upon the opening of the franchise tag window, the expectation was New York would steer clear of placing the one-year tender on Barkley for a second straight season. When speaking on the subject at the Combine, however, Giants general manager Joe Schoen confirmed that all options – including a second tag – were still on the table. As a result, Barkley may not join a slew of other veteran backs (a list which also features 2023 tag recipients Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard) in reaching the open market later this month.

The Giants have until March 5 to apply a second tag, which would cost $12.1MM. With the 2024 salary cap checking in at a higher figure than teams anticipated, absorbing an eight-figure commitment at the RB position would be less cumbersome that New York first thought. The team has a number of other offseason matters to sort out, though, including an agreement with safety Xavier McKinney. A transition tag has been floated as a possibility in the latter’s case, but using it would prevent the Giants from being able to tag Barkley.

The Texans have emerged as a team to watch on the running back market this offseason, and Barkley reportedly has his eyes on a deal sending him to Houston. Such a move will not be possible if a Giants agreement is reached or the franchise tag winds up being used once again, though. New York’s efforts to retain the two-time Pro Bowler will remain a key storyline in the coming days, and the tag would create an extended window to continue negotiating well into the summer. That wound up being the case last offseason with no accord being struck; it will be interesting to see if 2024 produces a different outcome.

View Comments (6)