Joe Schoen, Saquon Barkley Discussed Giants Matching FA Offer

Although the Antonio Brown-Raiders saga from 2019 brought some notable content, Hard Knocks‘ traditional training camp format rarely crosses into PFR’s purview. HBO’s offseason effort surrounding the Giants certainly has, and after three years of Saquon Barkley rumors, the divorce is being chronicled.

Reports detailing the split between the Giants and their biggest star of the post-Eli Manning period pointed to the Giants never actually making an offer this year. The Giants memorably made multiple offers in 2023, following an initial proposal during their 2022 bye week, only to see the franchise-tagged running back not agree to terms. GM Joe Schoen took a more passive approach this offseason.

[RELATED: Eagles Cleared Of Saquon Barkley Tampering Charges]

After meeting with staffers to assess the potential RB market, Schoen made it clear to John Mara the team would not apply the tag — which would have checked in at $12MM — for a second time. The third-year Giants GM then contacted Barkley to communicate the team’s plan of letting him test free agency. This otherwise cordial conversation featured a point in which Schoen directly asked the two-time Pro Bowler to provide his word he would give the Giants a chance to match the best offer he received.

Can you give me your word on that, or you not going to give us a chance?” Schoen said to Barkley in a phone conversation, with the seventh-year veteran replaying, “I already told you where I want to be.”

An offseason report indicated the Giants would likely wait for Barkley to come back to them with an offer to match. Barkley, 27, had said on several occasions he wanted to finish his career with the Giants. Big Blue resisted trade interest in the tagged RB at last year’s deadline. Doing so seemingly would have pointed to the Giants displaying genuine interest in retaining him for 2024. This Hard Knocks offering suggests otherwise, and Schoen’s discussions with his staff did not seem to indicate the Giants’ front office boss expected Barkley to fetch the contract he did from the Eagles.

Philly gave Barkley a three-year, $37.75MM deal that included $26MM fully guaranteed. The Giants’ final offer to Barkley at the July 2023 tag deadline featured a guarantee of around $22MM, with the sides being less than $2MM apart in terms of AAV. It is unclear if that was the full guarantee. Despite coming off another season that featured a notable injury (a high ankle sprain), Barkley pocketed the money from the $10.1MM tag and will collect an additional $26MM from the Eagles. Even after 2023 painted a bleak picture for RBs, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year came out way ahead of where he would have been financially had he accepted the Giants’ 2023 extension offer.’s Jordan Raanan confirms the Giants never offered Barkley terms on the level of the Eagles’ proposal.

Schoen made multiple references this offseason to RB production falling off around age 27; the Eagles will bet on their superior offensive line and weaponry keeping Barkley in prime form. The Giants signed a soon-to-be 27-year-old replacement, giving Devin Singletary a three-year, $16.5MM deal with $9.5MM guaranteed at signing. Though, to be fair, the ex-Brian Daboll Bills charge has logged 426 fewer NFL touches.

As the Eagles bet big on Barkley, the Giants will hope their midlevel solution — a player who has proven more durable by comparison, having missed only one game during the 2020s — can offer reasonable production.

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