The New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley could not come to an agreement on a new contract as the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline to do so passed on Monday.
No deal for the #Giants and star RB Saquon Barkley, with talks going down to the wire and the best efforts made to strike a compromise, per me, @TomPelissero, and @MikeGarafolo. He’ll play on the tag, but the question is when. pic.twitter.com/DxbEHiRlKL
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2023
It is what it is
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) July 17, 2023
That means Barkley’s options going forward have just become much more limited.
What he can do: a) play under the franchise tag price of $10.1 million for this year and try his luck in free agency again in 2024 or b) hold out through training camp and potentially into the regular season.
What he can’t do: sign a multi-year deal. He can only sign a one-year deal with the Giants.
But the Giants hold most of the cards here. They can simply not move off of their position. The $10.1 million they are willing to play Barkley this year is a bit low for Barkley’s liking, but it is all guaranteed.
The Giants also have the option of using the franchise tag on Barkley again next year, but it will be a bit more costly to do so, around $13 million.
If you’re doing the math, that’s $23 million guaranteed over the next years, which many experts believe is fair for a player who has had a history of injuries and plays a position that many teams utilize multiple players — a ‘committee’ approach — instead of a ‘bell cow’ back.
The Giants don’t have a lot of solutions in their backfield right now to defray the loss of Barkley should he hold out. Veterans Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell and rookie Eric Gray are their other options. They could also sign a free agent to supplement that group.
At that point, Barkley would have until November 14 to sign if he is to play at all this season.