The New York Giants’ offseason program is underway, with one notable absence; star running back Saquon Barkley.
Barkley has not been in attendance during New York’s offseason program, and Thursday was not on the field with the rest of his teammates, in the midst of a contract dispute with the organization.
Thursday, the first day of the offseason program open to the media, Giants head coach Brian Daboll addressed Barkley‘s absence.
“That situation is going to be between Saquon Barkley and the Giants organization,” Daboll told reporters.
Back in March, the New York Giants used the franchise tag on Barkley, guaranteeing the 26-year-old approximately $10.09 million for the 2023, but with no long-term security beyond the upcoming season.
“I’m not going to get into contracts,” Daboll explained. “What could happen, what might not happen.”
According to a report from ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the former Nittany Lions standout has no plans to sign the franchise tag prior to the deadline to do so on July 15.
Since Barkley hasn’t signed his tag, he can’t be on the field for OTAs, nor for mandatory minicamp in June.
Last season, Daboll’s first in East Rutherford, was a career-year for Barkley, who rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards with 10 touchdowns, re-emerging as one of the more versatile and explosive backs in the NFL.
As the NFL has continued to devalue the running back position, for Barkley to have the potential to reset the market, he’d need to continue to prove he can stay healthy in 2023, but playing under the tag carries significant risk in that regard.
Time will tell if the Giants and Barkley can come to terms on a long-term extension prior to the July deadline, but it doesn’t sound as though Barkley plans to be on the field until at least training camp.