Giants Fail To Give Saquon Barkley The Bag Ahead Of Franchise Deadline, Continuing Trend Of Teams Devaluing Elite Running Backs

The New York Giants and star RB Saquon Barkley failed to agree on a long-term contract extension ahead of Monday’s league-imposed deadline for franchise players. Now Barkley’s long-term status with the Giants is cloudy at best, and the team is unsure when he will report to training camp. This is the latest move by NFL teams to not pay a premium for the RB position.

Bad Vibes From The Start

Negotiations between Barkley and the Giants were rocky from the start.

The team’s initial offer made during last season was insulting, and Barkley never considered it according to reports. Both sides agreed to table talks until after the season.

The Giants’ offers to Barkley increased earlier this year, looking at maxing out at $14 million per season, according to sources. But the area both sides could not agree upon was guaranteed money and structure of the deal.

Barkley is likely looking to make as much guaranteed up front as possible, and the Giants are looking to likely tie bonuses into appearance and performance metrics. A tough deal when you play a position with a high injury rate.

Barkley was good last season, finishing fourth in rushing yards, tied for fifth in big plays, and ninth in TDs.

However his advanced metrics tell a slightly different story. Thirteenth in Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement and 21st in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.

Tough Time To Be A RB

Still, he’s a valuable player on a team with limited players at the other skill positions. Especially QB.

When the news broke about the two sides failing to reach a deal Barkley tweeted, “It is what it is.”

His fellow RBs around the league didn’t mince words when the news broke, including Tennessee Titans star RB Derrick Henry.

“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then. The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve,” he tweeted.

It is a tough break for a position that was once viewed in high regard. Now it seems that teams just want cheap talent at the position. If a second- or third-round pick has an awesome season that’s great for the team. But there will be no contract negotiation.

If the RB has a track record of success, he’ll get franchise tagged and the team will play a game of chicken seeing if the player will sit out and miss game checks.

The NFL is a dirty business full of non-guaranteed contracts. Players have to fight for every dollar they can.

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