Saquon Barkley cracks Forbes’ Top 100 earners list

There’s no question the New York Giants are Saquon Barkley’s team. He arrived as a rookie in 2018 and simply took over as both their leader and most valuable and marketable player. He is part of the Giants’ cornerstone for the future and now has the bankroll to go with that distinction.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley burst onto the NFL scene last year, breaking records and dropping jaws with his combination of power and speed. The second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State has been nothing short of sensational and all indications are he that he will add to that legacy this year and beyond.

Barkley has another distinction to add to his growing resume. He has just cracked Forbes Magazine’s list of the highest-paid athletes, placing 93rd overall.

As per Forbes, Barkley’s earnings are said to be $25.8 million for 2019. $21.3 million of that is his football salary, while 4.5 million will come from endorsements.

That was based on last year’s numbers, however. Barkley is set to earn just $1,897,943 in base salary in 2019. The figures Forbes bases their calculations on is the year-to-year prorated value of the contract.

Barkley signed a four-year, $31.2 million fully-guaranteed deal last year. $20,767,092 was a signing bonus which is already in his pocket. That means, the Giants really only owe him the remainder over the next three years of the deal.

But for NFL salary cap purposes, the deal is structured to defray the cap hit over the life of the contract. This year, Barkley’s cap hit will be $7,089,716 followed by $8,507,659 next year and $9,925,603 in 2021. (spotrac.com)

Here is Forbes’ profile of Barkley:

“Barkley led the league in all-purpose yards – he’s just the third rookie to ever eclipse 2,000 yards – and earned Rookie of the Year honors.

Stardom in the New York market has made Barkley a marketing darling, and he’s already nailed down deals with major brands like Pepsi, Toyota and Visa. Heading into 2019, only five other running backs have higher average salaries than Barkley.”

Those other five running backs – Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy and David Johnson, are all on at least their second NFL contracts, whether they be via free agency or an extension of their rookie contracts.

Barkley is naturally still on his rookie deal and the Giants technically won’t have to do much contract-wise with him until 2021 and that will be to exercise his fifth-year option.

Of course, there are some intangibles that need to be considered. The new CBA is going to be in place at that time and it is unknown if the fifth-year option for first round picks will still be available. It could be simply discontinued or altered. That could mean the Giants might look to lock Barkley up beforehand.