Saquon Barkley ended his sixth season with the New York Giants in a very productive way, scoring two touchdowns in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Whether Barkley will be with the Giants for a seventh season is the big question — the same one that circled the No. 2 overall pick from 2018 this past offseason.
The Giants decided to franchise tag Barkley after negotiations for a long-term extension fell through. Barkley was quite transparent about the situation, saying he fully understood how the business of the NFL worked now that he had to deal with it firsthand along with other running backs that didn’t see extensions come their way in a market for the position.
As Barkley heads into the offseason, he knows the Giants can franchise tag him yet again if an extension isn’t met. But after experiencing what happened last offseason — Barkley and the Giants eventually agreed to a modified tag with extra incentives before training camp began — he said he’s “numb” to the situation if it arises again.
“I went through the whole process last year,” Barkley said. “We talked more than enough last year, to be honest. I’m gonna let my agents handle that.”
“They did it last year. So I’m numb to it. I don’t have any feelings toward that at all,” Barkley continued. “If you’re going to do it, just don’t wait until March 5. Just get it over with. If not, let me go. Simple.”
March 5 is the franchise tag deadline for all NFL teams, which the Giants fully utilized up to the hour after figuring out a long-term deal with quarterback Daniel Jones.
General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll were at the center of the discussions last offseason, and the former noted Monday that a conversation with Barkley will be had soon.
“That’s a tool we have at our disposal,” Schoen explained regarding the franchise tag. “I’m not saying we will or we won’t. A lot of those conversations will be had in the next month or so.”
Barkley reflected on what once again could’ve been his final year in New York.
“If it was my last game playing here — if it is — it was a fun six years,” he said after rushing for 46 yards and catching two passes for 51 yards in the 27-10 win over their NFC East rival on Sunday. “Made a lot of great memories, but it’s not like the last time I’m ever playing football. … If I knew that it was my last game, I probably would feel a little different, but like I said, I have no idea.”
Barkley finished Year 6 with 962 rushing yards on 247 carries with six rushing touchdowns, while hauling in 41 receptions for 280 yards with four receiving touchdowns.
If it is his final season in a Giants uniform, Barkley would have rushed for 5,211 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry with 35 touchdowns on the ground and 12 more through the air. He had 2,100 yards receiving on 288 receptions as well.
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