Joe Schoen

Giants To Meet With Saquon Barkley’s Camp At Combine

Following all the drama of last year’s offseason, not much has changed in New York concerning the contract of veteran running back Saquon Barkley. The Giants were able to avoid too much trouble with a one-year, $10.10MM band-aid, but with that year now come and gone, the two parties find themselves at quite a similar standoff.

When many of the league’s running backs grew more and more concerned about their value as a position group, a coalition was formed to explore solutions last year. With Barkley and the Giants one of many RB-team pairings dealing with this issue of valuation, chatter rose of trade demands and threats of a holdout. Those rumors were seemingly put to bed in the team’s short-term resolution, but it’s tough to act like the situation never got that bad.

Still, late into the year, Barkley maintained that he wanted to remain with the Giants past this season. Despite multiple trade inquiries amidst a 2-8 start to the year, the Giants stood pat, committing to at least trying to patch things up with Barkley for the long term. Both Barkley and New York were saying all the right things, insinuating that both were interested in finding terms for an extension.

A couple months later, though, Barkley admitted that, despite his repeated assertions that New York was where he wanted to be, he really wouldn’t mind getting to make a fresh start somewhere new. Perhaps, it’s the constant stalemate the two sides seem to keep finding themselves in despite seeing the Colts and Jonathan Taylor reach a new three-year, $42MM deal in much rockier waters. A new deal may be even more difficult to come to after all four running backs headlining the valuation issue in the offseason (Barkley, Taylor, Josh Jacobs, and Austin Ekeler) missed time this season due to injury, further muddying the waters of their bargaining position.

Regardless, the Giants and Barkley will continue to strive for a resolution. General manager Joe Schoen claims to have met briefly with Barkley after the season concluded, and according to Connor Hughes of SNY, he plans to meet with Barkley’s representation at the NFL Scouting Combine at the turn of the month, as well. It will be interesting to see how things will be different in this offseason.

Giants Coaching Notes: RBs Coach, ST Coordinator, Daboll, Kafka

The Giants have added two coaches to their staff. The team announced that they’ve hired Joel Thomas as their new running backs coach and Aaron Wellman as their executive director of player performance.

Following a long stint in college coaching, Thomas was named the Saints running backs coach in 2015. Since then, the Saints are tied for second in the NFL with 161 rushing touchdowns, with Alvin Kamara earning five Pro Bowl selections over that span. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints didn’t block the interview despite the lateral move, with the organization “not wanting to hold a coach back.”

Thomas is set to replace Jeff Nixon, who left his role with the Giants after one season to become Syracuse’s offensive coordinator.

Wellman was previously the Giants’ strength and conditioning coach on both Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur’s staffs. He’s spent the past four years as Indiana University’s senior assistant athletic director for football performance.

More Giants coaching notes:

  • Thomas McGaughey was fired after six seasons as the Giants special teams coordinator, and the organization has started to look for his replacement. According to Rapoport, the Giants interviewed Matt Harper last weekend for the coordinator job. Harper has been with the 49ers organization since 2021, serving as the team’s assistant special teams coordinator.
  • Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Carlos Polk is also expected to be a candidate for the special teams job. The veteran coach spent the past two seasons as the Bears assistant special teams coach, and he previously held that same role with the Jaguars, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Chargers.
  • There’s more fallout from the sudden Giants/Don Martindale divorce, with much of it focused on head coach Brian Daboll and his handling of the coaching staff. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, the coaching staff’s finger pointing got so bad that GM Joe Schoen ended up tuning in to the coach’s headsets during games. This decision may have stemmed from the opinion of some coaches that Daboll’s sideline behavior was “destructive,” with Leonard noting that the coach’s input “was never proactive, always reactionary.”
  • While the Daboll/Martindale argument grabbed headlines, Daboll also didn’t have the rosiest relationship with Mike Kafka. The offensive coordinator “received the brunt of Daboll’s fury” and was constantly second-guessed. This latter point was clear in Daboll’s handling of play-calling duties, as Kafka’s in-game responsibilities were constantly changing

Joe Schoen: Giants Owners “On Board” With Long-Term Rebuild

The 2023 season has been a signficant step back for the Giants compared to their first year under general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. It would come as a surprise if either were to be let go at the end of the year, however, a sentiment which was recently confirmed by the former’s public remarks.

Schoen’s press conference earlier this week stated owners John Mara and Steve Tisch were aware of the long-term requirements of a sustainable rebuild given the roster and cap situation he inherited from the Dave Gettleman era. As Schoen said in no uncertain terms, and as Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports reports, a change at neither the GM or HC spots is anticipated to take place.

“Yeah, absolutely. They’re on board with it,” Schoen said, via Vacchiano, of New York’s owners regarding a multi-year rebuild. “As much as it hurts to go through this, there are a lot of young players that are getting valuable experience. Another offseason, another draft, we will continue to build it… The fact that John Mara is here on a daily basis, we can explain the ‘why’ — why we’re doing things, how we’re going to do them. They’re in the loop and they’re on board.”

The Giants have been known to move on quickly from coaches, with Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge each being let go late in their second seasons with the team. Daboll is now in that territory, and the 2022 Coach of the Year has been the subject of widespread criticism as the Giants have gone 4-8 this campaign. Struggles on offense both before and after quarterback Daniel Jones‘ ACL tear, as well as reported tension with defensive coordinator Don Martindale have led to questions about Daboll’s job security. He appears to be in the clear for now, however.

“It takes time, takes a couple of offseasons, it takes a few drafts to build it the right way,” Schoen added. “Trust me, it hurts when you lose and you’re 4-8… But you don’t want to lose sight of the big picture and the proper way to build a roster.”

The Giants are currently slated to have the No. 6 pick in the 2024 draft, a selection which could allow them to add a Jones successor. Having just inked the 26-year-old to a $160MM extension last year, though, New York could elect to go in a number of different directions during the draft. Regardless of how the Giants proceed, the team’s top decision-makers will be operating with assurances about their job security for the time being.

Giants Not Ready To Give Up On QB Daniel Jones

The Giants 2023 NFL season has seemingly gone off the rails. After snapping their four-game losing streak from earlier in the year, New York has started a new losing streak, dropping their last three contests. Their 2-8 record currently qualifies them for the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With USC quarterback Caleb Williams and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye likely to be locked in as the first two college passers taken in the draft, are the Giants going to pass up a top college arm in the top 2?

According to Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports, “it’s far from guaranteed that the Giants would actually” draft Williams or Maye to replace starting quarterback Daniel Jones. There are several factors that play into the team’s loyalty to the veteran passer, but essentially, they haven’t given up on hopes that he will be the long-term answer for New York at quarterback.

The first clear sign of this is the fact that, only four months ago, the Giants signed Jones to a four-year, $160MM contract extension. The team expressed their support for the 26-year-old at that point, and though things haven’t panned out thus far, they’re not ready to give up on him yet.

Jones earned that extension after showing tremendous improvement under the tutelage of new head coach Brian Daboll and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka last year. The new coaching took some of Jones’ biggest weaknesses, namely turnovers, and turned them into a strength. After throwing 29 interceptions and fumbling the football 36 times in his first three seasons, Jones led the league in lowest percentage of pass attempts resulting in an interception after throwing just five picks and fumbled the ball a career-low six times in 2022. Beyond that, Jones teamed up with his backfield mate, running back Saquon Barkley, to lead the Giants to their first postseason berth since 2016.

This year, the results have been drastically different, but realistically, the coaches and front office aren’t viewing the numbers in a vacuum. Sure, the team has the league’s second-worst record and only won one game in which Jones started, and yes, Jones’ touchdown-interception ratio of 2-6 and four fumbles in six games seems to show a regression of his strongest traits from last year, but these statistics aren’t solely the result of Jones’ play. First, of his six starts, three of them were without Barkley by his side and four of them were without starting left tackle Andrew Thomas protecting him. Second, a porous offensive line has led to the veteran passer taking a battering.

“It’s almost an unfair evaluation,” an NFC scout told Vacchiano. “He was getting battered. He had no time to run an offense before the rush was in his face. He didn’t look good, I’m not excusing him, but he didn’t have much of a chance. And I think (the Giants) know that.”

The disastrous offensive line resulted in Jones taking a beating. Whether related to the constant pressure or not, Jones ended up suffering a neck injury that would hold him out for three games. His short-lived return to play ended with him tearing his ACL, taking him out for the remainder of the season. Injuries, both to himself and to his teammates, paired with poor offensive play around him led to a decline in Jones’ performance this year. The Giants understand that and will likely continue giving him a chance to show he’s a franchise quarterback.

That decision also proves to be a bit self-serving for Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. Despite the duo leading the team to the playoffs in their first year at the helm, Vacchiano states that in today’s cutthroat NFL, a serious step backward might not be something to two staffers could afford. Making the move to draft and rely on a rookie quarterback very often can result in a step backward, and after the disappointment of this season, another year of regression has the potential to spell doom for Daboll and Schoen. That being said, Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report made it clear that, “barring something drastic,” both will return with Jones in 2024.

Still, the two aren’t ruling anything out. While proclaiming their faith in Jones, the Giants are still actively doing their homework on Williams and Maye. Schoen has reportedly already seen both college passers in person, and the personnel department will likely continue keeping a close eye on the two. Especially with the current unknown of Jones’ recovery time, quarterback may become a big offseason need for New York if Jones isn’t expected back in time for camp.

It’s an ugly situation and a difficult decision for the Giants to make. And, as of now, it’s not one they’ve decided on yet. They have reason and need to rely on Jones going forward, but it may become necessary at some point to bolster the position, just in case. They’re not ready to give up on Jones yet, but they need to be prepared to face that possibility should it arise.

Giants Unlikely To Make HC, GM Changes; Joe Schoen Scouting Top QB Prospects

Week 10 added to the list of lopsided defeats the Giants have suffered in 2023, and the team’s prospects for the rest of the campaign appear bleak. As attention increasingly turns to April’s draft, questions have been raised about the job security of head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen.

Both members of the team’s second-year regime are “widely considered to be safe” by those both inside and outside the organization, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reports. Unexpected success last season – which culminated in a run to the divisional round of the playoffs – came with the understanding that a multi-year effort to clean up the team’s cap situation would be required, but the commitment made to quarterback Daniel Jones in the offseason has not gone according to plan.

Jones is out for the year with an ACL tear, though his 2023 performances when healthy fell well short of expectations as part of a highly underwhelming Giants offense. Attached to four-year, $160MM deal, the former top-10 pick is on the books at a rate of $36MM in guaranteed salary in 2024. In spite of that, a report from last week indicated the Giants were willing to add an eventual Jones successor during the upcoming draft if they found themselves in position to land one of the highly-touted passers in this year’s class.

Schoen is known to be among several NFL executives who watched the recent USC-Washington game in person, a showcase of Caleb Williams and Michael PenixHe has been on the QB circuit to see other prospects as well, however; NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes that Schoen has regularly watched games featuring high-end signal-callers during the fall when doing so lines up with the Giants’ travel schedule. New York – a team down to undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito at quarterback with Tyrod Taylor currently on IR – could very well end up with an intriguing decision to make come the spring with respect to a potential Jones replacement.

The Giants are currently slated to pick second overall, a slot which would likely line them up to draft UNC’s Drake Maye. Doing so would create the need to move on from Jones after the 2024 season, however, and in the process admit a mistake in making a lucrative investment in the latter. Plenty remains to be determined with respect to where the Giants wind up selecting in April, but it appears Daboll and Schoen will be allowed to make such a call when the time comes.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Staley, Broncos

Josh McDaniels‘ leadership style became a lightning rod in Denver, helping lead to the successful New England OC’s second-season firing. Although’s Dan Graziano notes McDaniels’ Raiders situation did not feature a personality conflict on that level, a number of issues arose near the end of his 25-game Las Vegas tenure. While McDaniels’ style this time around was viewed as a bit more empathetic, Graziano colleague Jeremy Fowler notes the same traits that keyed the early wrap in Denver — people skills and a flawed culture — resurfaced in Nevada. This Patriot Way model led to quickly eroded trust, with the quarterback situation being the main part of McDaniels’ plan not resonating with players.

The team’s move from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo produced warning signs, but the McDaniels- and Dave Ziegler-handpicked veteran’s immobility and erratic play (NFL-high nine interceptions, despite two missed starts) led to some in the Raiders’ building believing Aidan O’Connell should have replaced the veteran starter earlier than he did, Fowler adds. Had the Raiders turned one of their several visits with early-round draft prospects into a selection, perhaps McDaniels would have been given more time to groom that player. With the team waiting until the final pick of the fourth round to take its quarterback, it is quite possible the team’s passer of the future is not on the roster. This being the case certainly interfered with McDaniels displaying his vision to the team.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • In what should not be especially surprising, Fowler adds some around the league believe Brandon Staley will need a winning effort to stave off a post-season three firing. Some viewed Staley as a candidate to be dropped after the Chargers‘ 27-point collapse in last year’s wild-card round, which came after Mike Williams suffered an injury in a meaningless Week 18 game. But GM Tom Telesco backed his HC for a third season. Again without Williams, the Bolts are 4-4. After Sean Payton was repeatedly connected to this job in 2022, the Bolts would obviously need to look elsewhere to replace Staley — if they choose to take that route — next year.
  • Last week’s USC-Washington game naturally attracted NFL personnel, but’s Pete Thamel notes both Broncos GM George Paton and Giants GM Joe Schoen were on-hand in a game that featured likely 2024 quarterback draftees Caleb Williams and Michael Penix. Both the Broncos and Giants would have complex paths to adding another QB. Denver could draft one with or without Russell Wilson on the roster, with a rookie salary perhaps complementing the starter’s hefty contract or hitting the Broncos’ cap sheet after they absorb a record-shattering $85MM in dead money (over two years, in the event of a post-June 1 cut). Regardless of how the Broncos fare in the season’s second half, Wilson’s status will be their top storyline.
  • The Broncos recently promoted Ben Niemann to their 53-man roster, and 9News’ Mike Klis notes the team did so to prevent another club from poaching him off the practice squad. Niemann, who could have conceivably loomed as a Chiefs roster replacement for the injured Nick Bolton, has 80 games under his belt. He added to that total earlier this year, against the Bears. The former Chiefs and Cardinals starter caught on with the Broncos after the Titans cut him in August.
  • Raiders free agency addition Robert Spillane recently underwent hand surgery, per interim HC Antonio Pierce (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur), but it did not keep him off the field. After breaking his hand against the Lions in Week 8, the fifth-year linebacker underwent a procedure a day later but played every snap against the Giants. Largely a part-timer in Pittsburgh, Spillane — attached to a two-year, $7MM deal — has logged 98% of Las Vegas’ defensive snaps this season.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

The latest NFL general manager hiring cycle only produced two changes, but each took over for an executive who appeared in good standing at this point last year.

Steve Keim had held his Cardinals GM post since January 2013, and the Cardinals gave both he and Kliff Kingsbury extensions — deals that ran through 2027 — in March of last year. Arizona has since rebooted, moving on from both Keim and Kingsbury. Keim took a leave of absence late last season, and the Cardinals replaced him with ex-Titans exec Monti Ossenfort.

[RELATED: The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches]

As the Cardinals poached one of the Titans’ top front office lieutenants, Tennessee went with an NFC West staffer to replace Jon Robinson. The move to add 49ers FO bastion Ran Carthon also came less than a year after the Titans reached extension agreements with both Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel. But controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk canned Robinson — in place as GM since January 2016 — before last season ended. Adams Strunk cited player unavailability and roster quality among the reasons she chose to move on despite having extended Robinson through the 2027 draft months earlier. The Titans are now pairing Vrabel and Carthon.

The Bills reached an extension agreement with GM Brandon Beane two weeks ago. Hired shortly after the team gave Sean McDermott the HC keys, Beane has helped the Bills to five playoff berths in six seasons. Beane’s deal keeps him signed through 2027. Chargers GM Tom Telesco has hit the 10-year mark leading that front office, while this year also marks the 10th offseason of Buccaneers honcho Jason Licht‘s tenure running the NFC South team. Although Jim Irsay fired Frank Reich and later admitted he reluctantly extended his former HC in 2021, the increasingly active Colts owner has expressed confidence in Chris Ballard.

Here is how the NFL’s GM landscape looks going into the 2023 season:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2022
  8. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  9. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  10. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  11. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  12. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  13. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  14. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  15. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018; agreed to extension in 2022
  16. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  17. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  18. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  19. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  20. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  21. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  22. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  23. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  24. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  25. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  26. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  27. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  28. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  29. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  30. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022
  31. Monti Ossenfort (Arizona Cardinals): January 16, 2023
  32. Ran Carthon (Tennessee Titans): January 17, 2023


  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

Saquon Barkley To Skip Giants’ Minicamp

At the conclusion of his Youth Football Camp in Jersey City today, Giants running back Saquon Barkley confirmed that he will not be attending the team’s mandatory minicamp this week, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Barkley’s time away from the Giants continues as he still hasn’t signed his franchise tender.

New York chose Barkley to franchise tag at the last second but claimed that it had full intentions of extending the veteran running back’s contract, with the tag serving as a backup plan in case negotiations failed. Barkley made it clear very early that he had no intention of signing his franchise tender before the team’s offseason program. This was news but nothing groundbreaking, considering he wouldn’t incur any fines for skipping the voluntary offseason workouts.

Waiting to sign franchise tenders is nothing new, as the tag is often viewed as a last-ditch option to retain a player if an extension can’t be reached. Waiting to sign also protects the tagged player from receiving fines for holding out from minicamp. A player like Tony Pollard, who signed his franchise tender back in March, would be subject to fines for missing minicamp, while Barkley can continue to hold out without penalty until the regular season begins, like Le’Veon Bell did years ago.

Speaking of Bell, Barkley hasn’t ruled out such a holdout. He seems intent on pushing the Giants at least until the last second. When asked about the potential of playing the season out on the franchise tag, he refused to acknowledge that he’s even considered it, telling the media he “would make those decisions or start thinking about that” when the deadline comes mid-July, according to Andrew Crane of the New York Post.

He didn’t nearly seem optimistic that things would be handled by July 17. According to another report by Crane, when asked if the deal would be handled by then, he took a long pause before replying, “I don’t know really. I don’t know.” In fact, he even said that sitting out the 2023 NFL season was an option he could use as “a card (he) could play,” according to Pat Leonard of New York Daily News. It has become clear that this situation has the potential to turn ugly in New York as the two sides continue to negotiate at an impasse.

Barkley’s statement today wasn’t necessarily an announcement of an incoming holdout, though. It seemed to be more of an attempt to state his side of the story. He made sure to inform that he had no intention of resetting the running back market. He has reportedly turned down deals with annual average values of $12.5MM and $13MM. Only Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey have contracts averaging more per year, but they are making $15MM and $16.02MM, respectively.

Barkley also used the media session as an opportunity to air some of his frustrations about the situation. He strongly implied that he felt disrespected by the organization throughout the contract standoff. He claimed that the team’s front office had been “misleading” with “untruthful” leaks that “make (him) look like (he’s) greedy.” He didn’t name general manager Joe Schoen, specifically, but Schoen was the one who publicly made known the above offers that were rejected.

Barkley has asserted that his feelings weren’t hurt by being tagged. He even understands that, in the harsh business world of the NFL, the Giants have all the leverage in negotiating. But the way the team’s front office has handled the situation seems to be rubbing him the wrong way. There doesn’t appear to be any irreparable damage, though. Much like the Lamar Jackson situation, it seems Barkley has been able to separate his business with the front office from the relationships with his teammates and coaches.

It’s unclear how much longer this will go on, but we now know it won’t be over by the opening of minicamp. Barkley is firmly standing his ground for what he feels he deserves. Whether or not that will preclude him from playing in the 2023 NFL season has yet to be determined.

Giants Looking Into Potential DeAndre Hopkins Acquisition

The list of expected suitors for DeAndre Hopkins is fairly well-known at this point, but other teams will no doubt at least kick the tires on the idea of signing the All-Pro wideout. The Giants are a member of that group.

Hopkins has officially been released by the Cardinals, leaving him free to sign anywhere on the open market. A number of Super Bowl contenders (particularly in the AFC) have been connected to him throughout the offseason, given his own remarks and the value he would add to any team’s passing attacks. The Chiefs and Bills are currently considered the favorites to sign him, though a Browns deal reuniting him with Deshaun Watson could also be in play.

The Giants will look into Hopkins as a possible addition, head coach Brian Daboll said on Wednesday. GM Joe Schoen was involved in the team’s work on Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason and through his year-long free agency period. The latter ended up signing with the Ravens, while the Giants turned their attention elsewhere with respect to their pass-catching corps.

“Like last year, anytime there’s someone that’s available that’s a free agent, I’d say Joe and his staff are gonna look into it, research it,” Daboll said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News“We talk about a lot of different players. So regardless of who it is, that’s part of our job is to make sure we’re doing our due diligence.”

New York’s most impactful addition so far in 2023 has been tight end Darren Waller, who could be in line to operate as a de-facto No. 1 receiver if healthy. At the WR spot, they signed former Colt Parris Campbell while retaining Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins and Sterling Shepard. Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler, has a considerably longer track record than the rest of the team’s receiver room. Leonard also notes that the Giants are one of a ‘handful” of teams which were expected to be involved in a pursuit of the 30-year-old.

However, New York has just $3.8MM in cap space at the moment, a figure which puts them in a similar financial situation to Kansas City and Buffalo. The Giants also have plenty of work to do on the Saquon Barkley extension front, something which is likely a higher priority for the team in the long term. As a result, it would be a stretch to consider them Hopkins frontrunners as of now.

Giants GM Joe Schoen On Contract Talks With Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence

APRIL 30: As expected, the Giants and Barkley will resume contract talks now that the draft is over, as Jordan Raanan of writes. The two sides did, in fact, touch base last week and will now attempt to find some middle ground on a long-term accord. Big Blue selected a running back, Oklahoma’s Eric Gray, in the fifth round, but as Schwartz notes, Schoen told Barkley before the draft of his intention to pick up a mid-round RB so that Barkley would not be blindsided.

APRIL 23: The Giants have two standouts who have stayed away from the start of the club’s offseason program: DT Dexter Lawrence and RB Saquon Barkley. As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post observes, GM Joe Schoen is taking a markedly different approach in his negotiations with those two players.

With respect to Barkley, negotiations are non-existent at this time. The Giants have until July 17 to work out a long-term deal with Barkley, who was slapped with the franchise tag in March and who has yet to sign the franchise tender, worth $10.1MM. Obviously, there is still plenty of time for player and team to strike an accord that will keep Barkley under club control for the next few seasons, and discussions may resume once this week’s draft has concluded. Still, Schoen’s tone in his comments on the two-time Pro Bowler is noteworthy.

When asked if he is optimistic that Barkley will suit up for the start of the 2023 season, Schoen said, “you have to ask him. I’m not sure. I don’t know what his plan is.”

The Giants offered Barkley a multiyear contract worth $13MM per year in advance of the franchise tag deadline, though the guarantee and cash flow components of New York’s proposals have never been reported. And, while Barkley has said that he is not necessarily seeking to better Christian McCaffrey‘s $16MM AAV — the top mark among running backs — it has also been reported that he wants to at least be in that ballpark.

Clearly, there is a gap between the two sides, and it is unclear how wide that gap is. The suppressed RB market is hurting Barkley, who may ultimately have to do more compromising than the Giants if he wants to avoid playing the 2023 campaign on the tag. Of course, he could simply choose to not sign his tender and sit out the season, though that tactic ultimately proved to be the wrong choice for the last player to try it, Le’Veon Bell.

Schoen said that he has not spoken to Barkley’s camp in three or four weeks. “When we had the conversations with Saquon it was known we were going to get to a certain point and then we were gonna move on and regroup at some other time,” the second-year GM said. Schoen added that the Barkley situation will not influence his decision to select or not select a running back in the draft.

Lawrence, meanwhile, is presently scheduled to play out the 2023 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, which will pay him $12.4MM. Reports last month indicated that progress was being made on an extension, and Schoen confirmed that there continues to be productive dialogue with Lawrence’s representation. Schwartz indicated that Lawrence is targeting a four-year pact worth $22MM per season.

In 2022, Lawrence set career-highs in tackles (68), sacks (7.5), and QB hits (28) en route to Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro acclaim. Pro Football Focus ranked Lawrence second among 127 qualifying interior defenders, and he earned position-best marks for his run defense and pass rushing.