Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants have struck a deal.
After the star running back threatened to hold out when the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract prior to the deadline for franchise tagged players to, Barkley returns to New York on a one-year contract.
Barkley‘s new deal is a one-year pact worth $11 million, if he hits incentives, and includes a $2 million signing bonus. Had Barkley played under the franchise tag, he’d have collected just over $10.1 million for the 2023 season.
Because the Giants originally applied the franchise tag on Barkley, the two sides are not permitted to discuss a long-term contract until after the season, under NFL rules.
Prior to Tuesday’s deal, talks had broken down after months of negotiations. The failure for the Giants and Barkley to reach a long-term contract sparked furor among veteran running backs, and some fans, over the diminished market value of the league’s premier running backs.
There is nothing in Barkley’s contract that would prohibit the Giants from using the franchise tag on the 26-year-old next offseason. So, New York can either tag Barkley again, sign him to a long-term contract, or allow him to hit free agency for the first time.
Barkley was chosen No. 2 overall out of Penn State, during the 2018 NFL Draft. Through the first five seasons of his career he’s rushed for 4,249 yards with 29 touchdowns, including a 1,307-yard 2022 season.