dexter lawrence saquon barkley giants
Jeffrey Becker | USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2023 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, general manager Joe Schoen is back to locking up crucial pieces of the Giants’ roster. Quarterback Daniel Jones was the first domino to fall at the outset of free agency. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is the most recent, just agreeing to a four-year, $90 million extension (with $60 million guaranteed).

But there are two more looking for a multi-year payday from New York. Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas just had his fifth-year option exercised. He’s in line for one of these paydays, but probably not this offseason. The biggest elephant in the room, though, is running back Saquon Barkley.

He’s not happy about getting placed under the franchise tag. That led to him not attending volunteer offseason workouts, mostly because it was the only bargaining chip left for him and his camp to use (and he didn’t sign his franchise tender, so he couldn’t attend anyways). But now that Lawrence’s deal is done, it sounds like the Giants will turn their focus toward Barkley.

According to the New York Post, Schoen is planning on reaching out to Barkley’s representation “over the next couple of days”. What will be the purpose of his first contact with them in quite some time? Here’s what Shoen said about that:

We’ll have some conversations in terms of where we are, where they may be and see if we can get something done.

As he’s done throughout this situation, Schoen and the Giants have reiterated how they like Saquon Barkley as a player. They’ve also continually recognized the importance of his presence on the field and in the locker room. But after saying that, Schoen has also been careful about discussing how a deal needs to work for both sides.

We’ve been following this situation since Barkley was officially given the franchise tag. It certainly appears as though New York has virtually all the leverage. Then again, this situation has the potential to drag out until the start of training camp in the middle of July. Let’s hope it doesn’t actually take that long, though.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.