Watch Joe Schoen leave door open for Saquon Barkley to walk in free agency

Saquon Barkley, NY Giants. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Saquon Barkley, NY Giants. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Even the thought of NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley suiting up for a new team has Big Blue fans losing sleep at night. It’d just be weird to see No. 26 making brilliant plays in a different uniform – there’s no way in heck we’d ever want to see him suit up for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

While speaking to the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Joe Schoen said he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ that he’ll be able to agree to new deals with both Barkley and Daniel Jones. However, there’s still a chance that doesn’t happen.

With Barkley specifically, Schoen awknowledged there’s still a gap between the two sides in their negotiations. Not only that, but Schoen also made it seem like he’s started to think about a plan B as well:

Losing Saquon Barkley this offseason would be a blow for the NY Giants

Schoen looks poised up there on the podium, but he sure sent a clear message to Barkley and his reps with that statement. At the end of the day, there’s a chance we actually could see Saquon leave the G-Men this offseason and sign with another squad. Schoen doesn’t want that to happen, but he’s not going to break the bank to pay No. 26.

It’s been reported by multiple outlets that the Giants offered Barkley around $12 million per season during the bye week, but he turned that down. The Giants don’t appear ready to go much higher than that number, but Barkley could be eyeing something in the $14-15 million range. Schoen doesn’t seem interested in that figure.

With the way Barkley played last season – rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns – he’s trying to get the most value out of his next contract. Hey, no one is blaming him for that. However, Schoen is taking into consideration his production, but also his injury history. Barkley was a force in 2022, but his torn ACL in 2020 and down campaign in 2021 was rough to see.

This is something Schoen is keeping in mind. If Barkley thinks he’s worth close to what Christian McCaffrey is making, then it may be time for him to say goodbye to Big Blue. Again, Schoen would love to bring him back, but he’s only going to make that happen if the dollars are right.