The running back position is overrated and shouldn't be a focus for teams when giving out big contracts? NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley doesn't want to hear that. In recent years, Barkley has been pushing for RBs to get fair deals.
This is once again the case for him this offseason, as he's hoping the Giants give him an extension. Otherwise, he'll look for someone else to do so if Joe Schoen lets him walk in free agency. While speaking with FanSided on Thursday, Barkley doubled down on how important he and other backs are for an offense. It sure sounds like he has some negotiating tactics already in mind for when it's time to try and get his payday.
Saquon Barkley knows how valuable he is leading up to contract talks
"Running back is a key, dominant position. San Francisco - Christian (McCaffrey) is a focal point of why they’re in the Super Bowl. Not to toot my own horn, the year (2022) we went to the playoffs, I was a big focal point of that and even this year, we had a lot of injuries. We had to play with some backup quarterbacks and when I was able to get things going in the run game and make plays, we were able to win some games. It opens up everything."- Saquon Barkley
Barkley was in this exact same position last offseason, working to see if Schoen would meet him halfway for a new contract or not. In the end, the Giants gave Daniel Jones his $160 million extension. They placed Barkley on the non-exclusive franchise tag shortly after.
That decision came after Barkley posted a career-high season with 1,312 yards. His 10 rushing scores were pretty darn head-turning too. With Barkley playing at a Pro Bowl level once again, he played a massive role in Brian Daboll's men going 9-7-1 and getting back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
This is all something Barkley wants Schoen and other general managers to keep in mind when it comes time to discuss a new contract. Barkley missed three games in '23 with a high-ankle sprain, but he still rushed for 962 yards and six scores. He added four more touchdowns through the air.
As Barkley mentioned, the Big Blue offense featured him quite a bit, especially once Jones went down with his torn ACL. With Tommy DeVito and Tyrod Taylor taking over behind center, the workload only increased for Barkley, with his body taking a beating each week.
"It’s all recency bias. Some of the guys that got paid in recent years either got caught with an injury bug or didn’t have the same level of success they had in prior years, but that’s every position, that’s every year. The NFL is hard, that’s why it’s rare to see guys consistently do it (play so well) year after year. It’s a challenge."- Barkley on RBs not getting fair deals
Recently, Schoen said he's going to meet with Barkley's reps at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis to see if an agreement can be reached. If that doesn't happen, Barkley's agent, CAA's Ed Berry, will get ready to see what else is out there should his client be free to sign with anyone else. Barkley wants to be paid like one of the top backs in the NFL and if New York doesn't make it happen, a different organization likely will.
Saquon Barkley participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of Silk.