EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 29: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on December 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Ahead of his third NFL season, one can only wonder how much money Saquon Barkley will ask for in his second contract.

Despite some injury-related woes this past season, Saquon Barkley has been nowhere near a disappointment for the New York Giants. The sensational back is already near the top of the NFL at his position, having gained a league-high 2,028 scrimmage yards in 2018 en route to the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

So going off of recent contracts for elite running backs — Ezekiel Elliott’s six-year, $90 million deal and Christian McCaffrey’s four-year, $64 million deal — the next time Barkley puts pen to paper may be an eye-popping and record-breaking moment.

A potential extension wouldn’t occur until at least next offseason though, and Barkley is professional enough to know that his on-field performance must walk the walk before anything else.

“I’m a big believer in taking care of the little things first. I’m going to be the best player and leader I can be,” Barkley said in regards to an eventual new deal, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “If I take care of that, the rest will take care of itself.”

This upcoming season will reveal plenty about the potential extension. And not to mention, it’s still unknown if the Giants will exercise the fifth-year option on him. That fifth season would play out during the 2022 campaign. Therefore, the Giants may not reward him a long-term deal until the months leading up to that season.

They executed this same move on Odell Beckham Jr. during his tenure with the team. New York picked up his fifth-year option in April 2017 and then inked him to a long-term extension in August 2018.

Barkley is scheduled to earn base salaries of over $3.3 million and $4.7 million respectively in 2020 and 2021. When he does sign a new deal, expect it to be one in which the guaranteed portion, not the time frame, is of significant value. A four-year deal may be the case, as players usually don’t like to trap themselves in a single contract for too long.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.