Conflicting Saquon Barkley reports will have NY Giants fans torn

Joe Schoen decided not to place the franchise tag on Barkley before the deadline

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is shown after scoring a touchdown and giving the
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is shown after scoring a touchdown and giving the / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

If running back Saquon Barkley decides to come back to the NY Giants, it'll be on a new multi-year contract. With the deadline arriving for general manager Joe Schoen to place the franchise tag on No. 26, he decided not to.

Because of that, Giants fans are convinced that Barkley will end up signing with a new team in free agency. Perhaps a move to Baltimore or Houston will be on the way? On one side of things, yes, people are convinced Saquon is as good as gone. However, leave it to Josina Anderson to give you at least a slither of hope he'll remain with the G-Men moving forward.

Star running back Saquon Barkley is set to hit free agency this offseason

Barkley and the Giants still haven't been able to come to terms on a new contract, but from the looks of Anderson's report, it seems like the conversations will continue. Previously, the New York Post's Ryan Dunleavy pitched the idea to Barkley of him going out and finding his best offer and giving the Giants the chance to match it.

Could this be in play once free agency opens up? Fox Sports' Ralph Vacchiano seems to think so. This would be a win-win for Schoen. He could see how much other teams are ready to fork over and then he could decide if he wants to put that kind of money on the table or not.

Vacchiano also left the door open for Schoen to look the other way if Barkley gets head-turning money put in front of him from a different franchise. With so much being unknown right now, it feels like anything could happen with Barkley.

What we do know for sure, though, is that the Giants didn't want the $12 million price tag that came with tagging him for the 2024 season. Barkley, who rushed for 1,312 yards in 2023 and followed that up with 962 more in 2023, will surely be in contact with several teams in the near future.

Does this mean he'll for sure be leaving East Rutherford? Not necessarily, but it feels like a long shot that he and Schoen will end up meeting in the middle. We hate to say it, but the tag update feels like a goodbye for Barkley.