The New York Giants and running back Saquon Barkley failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract on Monday, meaning if the Pro Bowler is going to play for the Giants this season, he’ll have to play for the franchise tag tender price of $10.091 million.
First, Barkley would have to sign that tender — something he has been reluctant to do. But now that the deadline has passed, his best course of action is to sign the tender and report to the Giants this season.
And Barkley knows it.
When — or if — he’ll report is still up in the air. Many feel he’ll take his time with this, but too much time. Barkley has been working out like a madman this offseason and certainly does not want to waste one of the prime seasons of his career watching from home.
By playing this year, and playing well, he’ll at least earn a second franchise tag from the Giants, which would be worth approximately $13 million next year.
That would mean $23 million in Barkley’s pocket over the next two seasons. That would make him the fourth-highest-paid running back in the NFL over that period.
Barkley may choose to sit out some of training camp and the preseason games (which he was likely to be held out of anyway) and simply begin playing in earnest in Week 1.
The worst thing he can do is sit out the season, or even part of it. The $10.091 million prorates to $593,588 per game. So, he’ll forfeit that amount each week he decides to sit.
For a guy who was seeking more money, why would Barkley want to do anything that would make him less money this year?