Saquon Barkley is in search of a new long-term contract after the Giants franchise tagged him in March.
Whether he gets one this offseason remains to be seen, but it might not be a deal in the per-year range as the Giants’ previous offers. General manager Joe Schoen reportedly offered Barkley a new deal worth $12.5 million per year during the 2022 bye week. That annual number increased to $13 million in a new reported offer after the season. Barkley declined both.
These are decisions that may come back to haunt the running back. And a supposed “prominent” agent agrees.
From the Post’s Paul Schwartz:
One prominent player agent told The Post turning down an offer in the $12 million-$13 million a year range was “dumb” as long as the structure was fair — about 60 percent in guaranteed money. The agent believes the framework for a market-value Barkley deal should now average around $8 million or $9 million per year and that a three-year, $30 million package — with a guarantee of about $18 million — would be “pretty rich.’’
A multi-year deal worth $10 million per year would be a slightly lower average value than the franchise tag ($10.1 million guaranteed). But a guarantee of $16-18 million could be great for Barkley in the long haul.
Because the unfortunate truth is Barkley may only have one more productive, Pro Bowl-caliber year left in him. He’s already entering year six. As a running back, that might as well be year 12.
Even last year, in his best season since his historic rookie campaign, Barkley declined post-bye week. He averaged only 66.6 rushing yards over the final eight regular-season games. He then averaged just 57 rushing yards in the two playoff games.
Barkley’s time as a consistent, effective back could be coming to an end. We’re not going as far to say Barkley was “dumb” to decline the reported offers. But right now, he should be taking all the guaranteed money he can get, regardless of the per-year average.
Let’s see if the two sides come to an agreement after the Giants resolved their Dexter Lawrence contract saga last week.