Saquon Barkley contract talks: Giants GM wants to keep star RB but deal has to make sense for both sides
Giants general manager Joe Schoen has been a busy man this offseason. He’s already inked a long-term deal with quarterback Daniel Jones, added pieces in free agency, made moves in the NFL Draft, and on Thursday made Dexter Lawrence one of the defensive tackles with highest salary in the NFL. What next? He may be locking down running back Saquon Barkley for the foreseeable future.
New York kept Barkley from hitting the open market by placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on him in early March. While that prevented the star from leaving this season, the two sides are now looking to agree on a deal that will keep Barkley in beyond 2023. Schoen told “Good Morning Football” on Thursday that he spoke with Barkley’s representatives to see “how willing” he was to get a deal and they both agreed to talk after the draft.
“Listen, Saquon is a great football player, a captain last year. He’s a great locker room guy. I love him. We want him here,” Schoen said, via NFL.com. “But you have to have a contract where both parties are happy with where you are.
While Barkley is among the league’s best players at his position and a key piece in New York’s offense, handing out lucrative long-term contracts has been a dangerous threat for NFL teams in the past. ‘ gone. That’s not to mention Barkley’s previous injury history which prompted an even more cautious approach.
New York reportedly tried to sign Barkley to a deal during the team’s bye week last season but were unable to come to terms on a contract. The Giants were said to be offering a deal that would have paid Barkley $14 million per season, but the structure of the contract and the promised money became sticking points in the negotiations and it eventually fell apart. The franchise tag will pay Barkley $10.091 million in 2023, but the cornerback has yet to sign and is not expected to participate in the team’s voluntary workouts this season.
The 26-year-old has spent his entire career with the Giants after the club selected him No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Barkley is coming off a bounce-back season in 2022 where he was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career and set a career high in rushing yards.