Will the NY Giants place Saquon Barkley on the 2024 franchise tag?

The deadline is quickly approacing for GM Joe Schoen

Procter & Gamble presents Second Annual P&G Battle of the Paddles at Super Bowl LVIIl
Procter & Gamble presents Second Annual P&G Battle of the Paddles at Super Bowl LVIIl / Jeff Schear/GettyImages

Soon enough, we'll have a better idea of what the NY Giants are planning to do with two-time Pro Bowler Saquon Barkley. About three weeks ago, it felt like the franchise tag was going to be off the table for No. 26.

Now, though, the salary cap for 2024 has skyrocketed to $255.4 million and general manager Joe Schoen said tagging Barkley for the second consecutive season is still an option for the front office. So, will Schoen go this route and make Barkley unhappy once again? We're about to find out.

Joe Schoen must decide by March 5 whether to franchise tag Saquon Barkley

On March 5 at 4 p.m. ET, Schoen has to make his final decision here. If he places the tag on Barkley, then the star RB will play the 2024 campaign on a $12 million contract. Unfortunately for Schoen, that same number will be Barkley's cap hit for the year.

The two sides could end up finalizing a long-term extension, but the chances of that happening feel pretty slim. In the worst-case scenario for Big Blue fans, Schoen will let Barkley walk in free agency and he'll sign with a new team.

Barkley has been linked to several teams, including the Houston Texans. It looks like quarterback C.J. Stroud is working overtime in trying to recruit Barkley to the AFC South. Saquon has said multiple times that he wants to be in East Rutherford for the rest of his career, but he also understands this is a business.

He wants long-term financial security, but Schoen is hesitant in getting that done for him. Barkley's injury history surely is being brought up in negotiations, as he missed three more games in 2023 with a high-ankle sprain. Schoen could look to use the money he'd have to spend on Barkley to improve the offensive line. No one knows what will happen with Barkley, but by 4 p.m. on March 5, we'll have a better idea of what's to come for the former first-round pick.