Giants general manager Joe Schoen has had a busy off-season. He’s already signed a long-term deal with quarterback Daniel Jones, added pieces in free agency, made moves in the NFL Draft and made Dexter Lawrence one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the NFL on Thursday. What’s next? It could very well block his running back, Saquon Barkley, for the foreseeable future.
New York kept Barkley from entering the open market by placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on him in early March. While that prevented the star from leaving this off-season, the two sides are now trying to agree on a deal that will keep Barkley in the house beyond 2023. Schoen told “Good Morning Football” on Thursday that he has spoken to Barkley’s reps to see “what the appetite” was for a deal to be finalized and they both agreed to talk after the draft.
“Listen, Saquon is a very good footballer, captain last year. He’s a good locker room man. I love him. We want him here,” Schoen said via NFL.com. “But you have to have a deal where both parties are happy with where you end up. We’re going to try to work for that and see if we can get something that we can both agree on.”
While Barkley is one of the best players in the league at his position and an important part of the New York offense, returning lucrative long-term deals has been a risky gamble for NFL teams in the past. That’s not mentioning Barkley’s past injury history prompting an even more cautious approach.
New York reportedly tried to sign Barkley during the team’s bye week last season, but could not agree on a contract. The Giants would offer that a deal would have paid Barkley $14 million per season, but the structure of the deal and the guaranteed money proved to be sticking points in the negotiations and eventually fell apart. The franchise tag will pay Barkley $10.091 million in 2023, but the back has yet to sign and does not plan to participate in the team’s voluntary practices this offseason.
The 26-year-old has spent his entire career with the Giants after the club selected him as the No. 2 seed in the 2018 NFL Draft from 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 posted a career high in rushing yards.