The NY Giants just put the finishing touches on the 2023 campaign and the focus for 2024 has already begun. Some questions have already been answered, including both Bobby Johnson and Thomas McGaughey getting fired. So, what happens next with star running back Saquon Barkley?
That's one of the biggest worries for Giants fans this offseason, as there's a chance No. 26 could be on his way out. Barkley went through this same song and dance with general manager Joe Schoen last offseason, but he ended up being placed on the non-exclusive franchise tag. Could that go down again? Barkley knows that's an option, but he obviously doesn't want that to happen:
Will Saquon Barkley return to the New York Giants next season?
"They did it last year. So I’m numb to it. I don’t have any feelings toward that at all. If you’re gonna do it, just don’t wait until March 5. Just get it over with. If not, let me go. Simple."- Barkley on the franchise tag
That's quite the message Barkley is sending to Schoen. The fact that he's not having an exit interview with the team is pretty head-turning too. Again, Barkley went through this process last year and he doesn't want to have to deal with uncertainty all the way into March.
After making the Pro Bowl last season, Barkley had a bit of an up-and-down campaign in '23, including him missing several games early on due to a high-ankle sprain against the Cardinals in Week 2. In total, Saquon ended up rushing for 962 yards and six touchdowns.
He was also a difference-maker for the aerial attack, hauling in 41 receptions for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Whenever he had the ball in his hands, good things typically happened for the NY offense.
However, the injury concerns remain for Barkley and it's up in the air if Schoen will give him the kind of contract he wants. We'll find out soon what decision is made, but Barkley leaving in free agency and inking with a new squad can't be ruled out.