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The New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley have agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $11 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday morning.
Albert Breer of The MMQB provided more details on the contract:
This ended Barkley’s effective hold. Because he has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, he is not under contract with the Giants and thus can escape any part of the offseason without penalty.
Concern began to grow earlier this summer when The Athletic’s Dan Duggan reported on June 6 that there were “no indications” that they had made any progress on a deal.
Plus, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on July 12 that Barkley and the Giants remain “at a stalemate” in contract negotiations, further casting doubt on his future with the franchise.
The Giants initially offered Barkley a deal worth $14 million last year, according to ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan, but the deal’s structure and guaranteed money didn’t meet running back expectations and so no deal was completed.
After agreeing to a four-year, $160 million deal with quarterback Daniel Jones in March, the Giants initially placed the $10.1 million franchise tag on Barkley to avoid letting him hit the open market.
However, Barkley did not sign the tag and did not participate in the voluntary part of the team’s offseason program.
Despite the franchise tag, New York has expressed its desire to keep Barkley through 2023 and beyond. General manager Joe Schoen told reporters in January:
“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and he’s a good football player. We’ll look at how we want to build this team and allocate our resources, and that’s the bottom line. Again, he’s a good football player, he’s been solid for us this year, he’s played well, and again he’s a guy we want to have back.”
Barkley also expressed his desire to stay with the Giants while talking to reporters in January.
“I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. I’m talking about how I feel and where I want to be,” he said. “I want to show the Giants that the guy they drafted is still here. Everyone knows I want to be a Giant for life.”
The Giants selected Barkley second overall in the 2018 draft out of Penn State, and he became an instant NFL star after posting back-to-back 1,000-plus yard rushing seasons in 2018, when he won Offensive Rookie of the Year, and 2019.
However, the 26-year-old appeared in just two games during the 2020 season due to a torn ACL and, after rehabbing that injury, appeared in just 13 games in 2021 due to an ankle sprain.
Although he was on the field in 2021, he was ineffective due to lingering injuries, rushing for 593 yards and two touchdowns.
Barkley had a bounce-back season in 2022, rushing for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns in 16 games. He was a key reason why the Giants made it back to the postseason.
While his new contract only keeps him in New York for one more season, the fact that the two sides reached an agreement leads one to believe that they can do it again next offseason to extend his stay in the Big Apple.