Saquon Barkley doesn’t really have his pending new contract in mind ahead of year No. 4 with the New York Giants.
Saquon Barkley‘s fourth NFL season is already approaching. It feels like it was just yesterday that the Giants were selecting him No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft prior to his sensational 2018 rookie campaign.
And given the current situation, Barkley is eligible for a contract extension this offseason. It could be a lucrative deal, but it may need to wait. The Giants might instead opt to exercise the fifth-year option on Saquon’s contract, which would keep him in the fold through at least the 2022 season.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, however, Barkley isn’t paying too much mind to the situation at this moment in time.
“To be honest, that’s the least of my worries,” he told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “That’s not even on my mind right now, to even have that conversation; to spark that conversation up. I’m really just focusing on getting this knee ready because I want to be the best player that I can be, hopefully better than I ever was, for the New York Giants”
Saquon is currently rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in a Week 2 loss this past season. The injury caused him to miss nearly the entire 2020 campaign, and the Giants — 31st in both total offense and scoring — felt his absence in more ways than one.
This will be a lingering discussion though, even if Barkley doesn’t want it to be. When he’s healthy, he carries the potential to be one of the top running backs in the league. That level of health, however, has been an issue. Along with the torn ACL, Barkley additionally missed three games in 2019 due to a high ankle sprain and was slowed down even when he was active.
The injury-related issues could force the Giants to exercise that option on his contract and forego inking him to an absurdly expensive deal until he proves he can consistently stay on the field. Will it take the entire 2021 season for him to portray that type of durability? The 2022 season as well? Who knows?
For what it’s worth, the Giants are hoping he’ll be around for the long term. During his end-of-year press conference last month, co-owner John Mara said he expects Barkley to remain with the team “for a very long time.”
If a long-term deal isn’t agreed to in the coming months, the 2021 season should reveal a lot about what Barkley’s future in East Rutherford could look like.