Ranking the 5 best NY Giants moves from this offseason
2) Tagging Saquon Barkley
Say what you will about the value of the running back position in today’s NFL, but Saquon Barkley remains one of the most important players on the entire team.
Just looking at the way the Giants played with the former Penn State star on the field compared to they way they played without him, it’s easy to see why Schoen and the team’s brass wanted Barkley back this offseason. While they’ve yet to come to terms on a long-term deal, and the jury remains out if they will, franchise-tagging Barkley is the best option at the moment.
Barkley didn’t sign the Giants contract offer that reportedly would’ve seen him paid between $12 and $13 million a season, and he may be kicking himself at the moment, as the market for running backs has evaporated. Now, New York gets Barkley back for another season at a little over $10 million, with all the leverage on a long-term deal.
Now, a holdout is possible, but being realistic, there’s no way Barkley is getting a contract even near Christian McCaffrey’s landmark deal from a few seasons ago. Still, the Giants want Barkley and he wants the Giants, so I expect them to find a common ground before the 2023 season begins.
Nevertheless, franchise-tagging Barkley instead of panicking and giving him a long-term deal, especially one that this year’s market would’ve deemed an overpay, may be the best indicator that the franchise is under new and improved leadership. Who knows what Dave Gettleman would’ve done in this situation.