The Giants are about two weeks away from their summer minicamp, six from the NFL franchise tag extension deadline and eight from the start of training camp. And there has been no movement on the Saquon Barkley front.
The Post has a new update that examines — as we have written here on several occasions — how guaranteed money remains the grand mystery of this contract standoff. And the report includes this intriguing passage:
“If the assumption is that only his first two years are guaranteed for just $22 million, there’s no deal to be made then,” NFL contracts expert Joel Corry of CBSSports.com told The Post. “I would counter with the last time a running back was franchise tagged and got a long-term deal, the Titans didn’t do Derrick Henry that way. They gave him $25.5 million guaranteed over two.”
Corry, a former NFL agent, said Barkley could gain some “public sympathy” if it turns out that the Giants are backloading an offer with essentially non-guaranteed “options” after the first two years.
All true. Barkley will get about $22 million in salary on back-to-back franchise tags in 2023 and ’24. If that is all the Giants guaranteed for a multi-year deal, he would be justified to reject it. And if the Giants did offer Barkley that, his camp would then almost assuredly run to leak about the team’s lowball attempt.
Well — as we have also written on several occasions — that has not happened. And the fact it has not seems quite telling.
It is hard to believe Giants general manager Joe Schoen would waste time offering Barkley a deal that did not beat the double-tag guarantee total. But it is much more realistic to imagine Schoen giving Barkley an offer somewhere north of Derrick Henry but south of Christian McCaffrey. And then respectfully keeping the guaranteed number private after Barkley and his camp botched the pre-tag negotiations.
If Barkley had a public relations win over the Giants to get, he would have gotten it a while ago. Now all he has left is to stay away — from OTAs and minicamp — and hope the lack of his presence spooks the Giants enough to give in to some extent before the July 17 extension deadline. And if that does not happen? Barkley needs to decide how far he wants to take this. Sitting out some or all of training camp is very doable. Missing regular season games? That is a whole different story. And an unlikely one. But it has to be considered on Barkley’s table at this point.