NFL Rumors: Insider claims Saquon Barkley has a top team in mind for free agency

Will Saquon Barkley end up leaving the Giants?
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is shown on the field after the game, Sunday,
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is shown on the field after the game, Sunday, / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the next few weeks, we'll find out if the NY Giants will place the franchise tag on Saquon Barkley, sign him to a long-term extension or let him walk in free agency. If No. 26 becomes a free agent, there are multiple teams who will be ready to throw a bag at him.

Could one of those teams prove to be the Houston Texans? The AFC South side is on the rise and fans have full belief in young quarterback C.J. Stroud. Having said that, insider Aaron Wilson recently said he thinks it could be a good fit and that he's hearing Barkley has already lined up the Texans as his top choice should he hit the open market:

The Houston Texans will be a team to watch for Saquon Barkley

"The Texans are in a much different state than they were a year ago. They are the defending AFC South champions. They are a team that a lot of people, a lot of free agents, want to play for. Perhaps even Saquon Barkley. I have been told it's his favorite team right now and his choice for free agency."

Aaron Wilson

We get it. There's a ton of excitement surrounding the Houston rebuild, as they're coming off a division title and they have tons of young pieces on both sides of the ball. Can you imagine adding a dynamic playmaker like Barkley to that offense? Goodness, it'd be fun to watch.

Unfortunately for everyone in Houston, we don't want to see that happen on this side of the country. Giants Nation as a whole is holding out hope Joe Schoen will be able to get something done with Barkley on a multi-year deal.

Schoen has left the door open for the tag to be placed on Barkley again due to the salary cap being raised to $255.4 million. If that happens, Barkley would make $12 million next season after he was tagged for $10.1 million in 2023.

That's not what Saquon wants, though: he wants long-term financial security. It's unknown if Schoen and the Giants will give that to him, but maybe Houston will if they have a chance to make him an offer. No one in East Rutherford wants to see Barkley bolt town, but it could end up happening. Moving forward, the Texans will be eyed as a major player in the Barkley sweepstakes too.