Saquon Barkley Bombshell: RB Doesn’t Rule Out Holding Out 2023 Season

Saquon Barkley
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants celebrates after his team's 21-20 victory against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Star running back Saquon Barkley’s contract negotiations with the New York Giants have hit a snag, leading to speculation about the possibility of him sitting out the 2023 NFL season.

“For me, it’s like we got until July 17,” told reporters at his annual Youth Football Camp. “They can say what they want. We can say what we want. Just one day at a time. One day at a time. Now, that day comes up and I have to sit down and have that conversation, then I will sit down and have that conversation.

“We’ll see what’s the best plan for me to do.”

When Barkley was recently asked about his optimism regarding a long-term deal with the Giants, his response was hesitant, hinting at his dissatisfaction with the current state of negotiations.

The Giants used the franchise tag on Barkley earlier this year, but the star player has yet to sign it, keeping him away from the team’s spring activities, including mandatory minicamp.

“Me getting tagged, was I upset about it? Nobody wants to get tagged,” Barkley said. “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 and how misleading they were and how untruthful they were.”

The ongoing contract dispute has left a sour taste in Barkley’s mouth, as he feels misunderstood and misrepresented. Despite never aiming to reset the running back market, Barkley believes he is being perceived as “greedy.” He emphasizes that his desire for a fair and respectful deal stems from his commitment to the Giants and his contributions on and off the field.

“I feel it was trying to paint a narrative of me,” he said. “Paint a picture of me that is not even true. Not even close to being the truth.”


Barkley’s value to the Giants cannot be understated. He has been the face of the franchise since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2018, out of Penn State, and has consistently performed at a high level, despite the team’s ups and downs. Last season, Barkley played a significant role in the Giants’ playoff appearance, showcasing his versatility and impact as a game-changer.

The running back market has faced challenges in recent years, with diminishing value placed on the position. This offseason, the running back market experienced a decline, partly due to the franchise tags placed on Barkley, Las Vegas’ Josh Jacobs, and Dallas’ Tony Pollard. However, Barkley believes his value extends beyond the traditional running back role, highlighting his impact on the team’s success and his desire to help the Giants win games.

“I see [the running back market]. I’m aware of that,” Barkley said. “I feel like I’m more than that. I feel we finally got to a place where we’re a successful team. We got to start winning games, and I was a big part of that.”

Barkley’s contract dispute with the New York Giants has intensified, with the possibility of him holding out the 2023 NFL season looming. Barkley’s hesitation and frustration with the negotiations indicate a potentially rocky road ahead. As the deadline draws nearer, the Giants and Barkley face crucial decisions that will significantly impact the team’s future and the running back’s career.

“It’s all about respect,” he said. “That’s really what it is.”  

A note to our readers; If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission