With just over two weeks remaining before the July 17 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign a multi-year deal, there is renewed optimism that the New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley could come to an agreement soon.
“I just checked in on this and I was told there’s no hard-and-fast update right now, but there is at least some level of optimism that these sides can come to an agreement at some point,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on SportsCenter.
“They’ve been talking throughout the offseason. Giants ownership values Barkley; he’s considered a centerpiece-type player for them. But Barkley wants a stronger contract structure, most likely stronger guarantees in how that contract is structured. So, Giants have to find a sweet spot there.”
Barkley was assigned the franchise tag in March which will pay him $10.1 million for this season but has yet to sign the tender in hopes of landing a longer-term, more lucrative deal.
There isn’t a lot of wiggle room for Barkley or the Giants in this scenario. The Giants already offered the two-time Pro Bowler a deal worth up to $14 million but it was rejected, likely due to guaranteed money.
The running back market has faded since March and favors the Giants in this situation but that has not deterred Barkley and his representatives, who want to squeeze as much financial and job security out of Big Blue while they still have some leverage.
July 17 at 4:00 p.m. is the deadline for ‘any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension.’
If Barkley and the Giants can’t agree on a multiyear deal, he will only be eligible for a one-year contract with the Giants for the 2023 season, and ‘such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.’
That could very well end up with the Giants not budging from the franchise tender price and Barkley possibly holding out the entire season, but it appears neither side wants that outcome.