EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Because the New York Giants’ veterans reported to coaching camp on Tuesday, there was a shock awaiting them as star operating again Saquon Barkley was within the constructing earlier than 8 a.m. Many did not anticipate to see him till September.
Barkley had agreed to a one-year deal as a substitute of enjoying on the $10.091 million franchise tender. He obtained a $2 million up-front signing bonus and has $1 million accessible in incentives in a contract that may attain as much as $11 million. However he didn’t get any ensures the staff wouldn’t use the franchise tag once more subsequent yr.
The $11 million money worth on Barkley’s new contract ranks third amongst operating backs in 2023 behind solely the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry ($16.4M) and the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb ($14.9M), in response to ESPN Stats & Data.
After 9 months of negotiations, this was the place they landed. In all probability not the place both facet anticipated this to go after they started speaking a couple of new contract throughout the bye week final yr. In all probability not what Barkley’s operating again brethren wished to see as they struggle for a extra profitable market on the place.
ESPN NFL entrance workplace analyst Mike Tannenbaum described the deal as “extremely rare,” and he stated the final time a tagged participant obtained more cash on a one-year deal was in 2005 when Edgerrin James signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
Why did the deal occur now? And did Barkley cave? Giants reporter Jordan Raanan and nationwide NFL reporter Dan Graziano answered 5 compelling questions surrounding the deal.
Why did this occur now?
Raanan: It appears fairly clear Barkley wished to get this out of the way in which and report back to coaching camp. Heck, he did not even struggle till the bitter finish for the elimination of the franchise tag subsequent yr.
However Barkley is a participant who may be very aware of his picture. That was evident when he stated at his AMPT soccer camp final month that he did not like how the negotiations had been being portrayed publicly. He stated the protection made him look “grasping.” Barkley preaches being a team-first man who prioritizes profitable. No matter it takes. Getting this out of the way in which now permits for the cloud that was about to solid over coaching camp to be eliminated.
Did Barkley cave by agreeing to this deal?
Graziano: Sure. This can be a Secretariat-at-the-Belmont-level win for the Giants. Barkley might have insisted on a clause that prohibited the Giants from franchising him once more subsequent yr, however he did not. He might have sat out coaching camp and brought this deal a month from now, however he did not. He might have at the very least sat out ONE SINGLE DAY of coaching camp and brought this deal Wednesday, however he did not.
Barkley agreeing to this deal tells us he knew he was crushed, that every one of his leverage went out the window as soon as a long-term deal wasn’t accomplished by the July 17 deadline. He will get the power to make $900,000 in incentives, and he will get a piece of the cash up entrance, however there is no actual materials win right here for Barkley, whose best-case situation is him going by way of all of this once more subsequent offseason.
What influence will it have on different operating backs on the lookout for offers?
Graziano: Yeah, it is robust to think about Barkley being invited onto the subsequent operating again Zoom name, proper? This does not assist anyone. Positive, it gives a framework for the Las Vegas Raiders and Josh Jacobs to discover a resolution to their equivalent downside, however there is no motive to imagine the Raiders wish to supply Jacobs something greater than the tag, and there is no motive to imagine Jacobs is as able to give up as was Barkley.
When you’re Jonathan Taylor on the lookout for an extension from the Indianapolis Colts, that is no assist. When you’re Dalvin Cook dinner, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette or Kareem Hunt — all free brokers on the lookout for houses — that is no assist. However neither was Joe Mixon taking a roughly 50% pay lower a few weeks in the past to keep away from being launched by the Cincinnati Bengals, or Austin Ekeler’s meager decision to his dispute with the Los Angeles Chargers.
The details are the details, and proper now the actual fact is that nobody — NO ONE — desires to pay a operating again and even seems like they should. Within the real-world image of the present market, that is the very best that Barkley might do, and that is a disgrace for all of them.
What does it imply for Barkley’s future with the Giants?
Raanan: This is not going to remove any dangerous style left in Barkley’s mouth from the troublesome negotiations. The Giants did not hand over a ton right here. They nonetheless have the franchise tag to make use of or dangle over his head subsequent yr. Barkley desires to stay with the Giants, and he has stated repeatedly he desires to stay a “Big for all times.” However this does not change the truth that common supervisor Joe Schoen has his limits on what he believes Barkley is price.
One govt informed me lately that even when Barkley has one other nice season, his worth seemingly decreases in 2024 as a result of he is a yr older with extra put on and tear on his physique.
How vital for the Giants’ offense was getting the deal accomplished now?
Raanan: There’s a profit to having Barkley in camp. It permits him to be in soccer form for the beginning of the season and get his timing down with the offensive line. The Giants additionally made lots of modifications to the receiving core this offseason, and actually, the offense as an entire is anticipated to look completely different. Having him within the constructing and on the sector (even when his workload is probably going restricted) can solely assist work out a few of the kinks.
However the largest profit is likely to be that Barkley’s teammates do not should reply questions on his absence all summer time and take care of the potential distractions that come together with that. As an alternative, it might be a comparatively drama-free camp.