After months of tense negotiations and wide speculation, Saquon Barkley will in fact play football for the New York Giants this year.
The Giants started negotiating with Saquon in the middle of last season during their bye week.
“I could sit here and lie to you and be like, ‘I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t this and that and the third.’ I mean, that would just be a flat out lie,” Barkley told reporters on July 27. “But, I am mature enough to understand that it’s a business and understand that deals don’t get done every year.”
Here are three main takeaways after Saquon Barkley signed a one-year deal with the Giants
No. 1 This could be the last dance for Saquon Barkley in the Big Apple.
Saquon Barkley is a supremely talented football player. That is certainly not in question.
However, the position he lines up at has become one of the NFL’s least valued, lowest-paid, and disrespected positions on a football team.
Running backs have been facing hurdles for years now trying to get paid, get drafted earlier, and be respected by the organizations in which they lay their life on the line for every week.
Barkley has played five NFL seasons already, he’s entering year six this season, and he won’t be eligible for free agency until his 7th NFL season at the earliest.
Barkley was very unhappy to be franchise tagged and even threatened to hold out of training camp and maybe skip some games to start the season.
The Giants and Saquon appear headed back to the negotiation table next year for the 2nd straight offseason unless things go awry.
Don’t be surprised if an angry, insulted Barkley looks to take his talents elsewhere for 2024 and beyond.
No. 2 The Giants do not value Saquon Barkley as a core player.
The Giants had a very busy offseason.
New York re-signed their quarterback to a multi-year deal, they extended their homegrown All-Pro defensive tackle, and kept their homegrown All-Pro Offensive Tackle for 7 more years to come.
They even handed out another multi-year deal to Darius Slayton before signing several receivers and trading for Darren Waller.
The Giants identified a group of players to go forward with and it appears Saquon is not valued as highly as other teammates.
No. 3 Expect Saquon to play his best ball this year in a contract season
Saquon is going to be angry this season.
He rightfully deserved a new contract but did not get one for a multitude of reasons. Barkley is already a Team Captain and the consummate teammate.
He will have a chip on his shoulder all season, look for him to run the ball with more anger and power than ever before.
If he stays healthy, and with an improved Giants’ offense, I could see Saquon breaking out for 1,4000 all-purpose yards and another double-digit touchdown season if he stays healthy.