Saquon Barkley
Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley is looking for a multi-year deal after the Giants franchise tagged him in March. The Jets’ Quinnen Williams, entering the option year of his rookie contract, is too.

It’s unknown if and when these talented players will come to agreements with their respective teams. But what is clear is how each front office should handle the lingering contract disputes.

Giants must hold. The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy reports the Giants and Barkley aren’t closer to a new deal and that one of the probable sticking points is the guaranteed money. The Giants have reportedly offered Barkley deals that would’ve paid him $12.5 million and $13 million per year, both of which he declined.

Not signing Barkley means he would then need to sign his franchise tag tender and play out the 2023 season on a one-year, $10.1 million deal. And even if he holds out into early September to do that, it would be the best outcome for the organization.

We understand the motive behind extending Barkley: it would clear much-needed 2023 cap space. But is clearing a few million dollars worth guaranteeing Barkley more than $20 million and locking in a veteran running back for more than a season? Tagging Barkley twice (in both 2023 and 2024) would cost the Giants around $22 million in guaranteed money, so Barkley figures to be looking for more than that in an extension.

Even if Barkley doesn’t sign the tag until days before Week 1, it would be a win for general manager Joe Schoen.

Four or five years? Dunleavy and the Post’s Brian Costello also report the Jets and Williams are getting closer to an agreement. While Williams has expressed frustration via social media antics, head coach Robert Saleh believes Williams will be extended. And per the Post, that could be the case soon enough.

But one of the sticking points is the length of the deal and whether or not Williams will earn a four- or five-year commitment. The Jets would probably prefer to lock in one of their top players for a longer period of time, but Williams may want to re-hit the market sooner.

If a four-year deal is what’s going to get Williams to stay, general manager Joe Douglas should cave.

Signing any player to a five-year deal is risky, and Williams only just became a premier pass-rusher in 2022. With a four-year deal, the Jets could lock in a star player for a lengthy period and not risk having a low-production or injury-ridden season on the back end, when Williams is nearly 30 at such a physical position.

It’s looking as if the Jets must fork over around $25-26 million per year, which would make Williams the highest-paid defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald. So Williams could earn a four-year deal worth $100 million with more than $60 million guaranteed. The Titans in April signed Jeffery Simmons to a $23.5 million-per-year extension (second behind Donald) and the Giants’ Dexter Lawrence earned $60 million guaranteed (also second) in a new deal. Williams is likely looking to exceed those values.

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