“Nobody Wants To Get Tagged” | As Deadline Nears, Will Giants RB Saquon Barkley Reach A Long-Term Deal, Sign Tender, Or Sit Out 2023 Season? 

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has until July 17 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time to reach a long-term deal with the team or he’ll have to play under the $10.1 million franchise tag in 2023.

As of now, that’s something Barkley isn’t willing to do. And if he doesn’t reach a deal by Monday, he can’t negotiate a new long-term contract until after the 2023 season, leaving many to believe the former Penn State star could sit out the entire 2023 season, which would undoubtedly be a major blow to a Giants’ plans to make a run at the division. Big Blue needs Barkley on the field as they look to improve on last season’s average offense that was more ball control than attack.  

The last player to sit out an entire season was also a running back. In 2018, former Pittsburgh Steelers star tailback Le’Veon Bell sat out the entire season after he and the team couldn’t agree on a long-term deal and he refused to play on the franchise tag.

Is Saquon next? 

Barkley Wasn’t Happy With The Tag Being Applied

The running back position for all intents and purposes has become severely devalued over the years, and with teams using a two-to three-back system, star backs just don’t carry the same allure and value they once did. The franchise tag seems to be applied more to that position than any other in the league, and for backs it’s frustrating and tough to swallow. 

Last month Barkley talked to reporters about being tagged.

“Me getting tagged, was I upset about it? Nobody wants to get tagged,” Barkley said last month. “To sit here and say I was frustrated, I was mad, I was upset, what really got me upset was the stories that got leaked out, how misleading they were and how untruthful they were.”

“I felt it was trying to paint a narrative of me, a picture of me, that is not even true. Not even close to being the truth. Just come to a reality that this is a business,” he added. 

Barkley Had Bounce-back 2022

After two injury-ridden seasons, missing 19 of 34 games, Barkley bounced back in a big way as the focal point of the Giants’ attack under first-year head coach Brian Daboll. 

In 2022, Barkley rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also tied for the team lead with 57 receptions, for another 340 yards, proving to be an invaluable dual-threat in an emerging offense.

Barkley showed the speed, elusiveness and power that we haven’t seen since his rookie season in 2018.

Will he get his money? 

On Wednesday former NFL QB Boomer Esiason told WFAN that he’s hearing the deal will get done by Monday and be at $14 million per season. Barkley says he’s not looking for a market-setting deal that would top the Niners’ Christian McCaffrey’s $16 million per year, but he wants to be fairly compensated.

Do It For Daniel

Despite the changing attitudes on paying running backs top dollar, Barkley’s proved to be more than just a back, he’s a special player and one that the Giants can ill-afford to enter the season without. If anything, the organization should think of their quarterback, who they just gave a huge bag too.

Jones will depend on Barkley more than any other player and without him, the Giants are playing with fire in a division boasting the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

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