Saquon Barkley giants
Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports

Football season is right around the corner, folks. The Giants are getting ready to start training camp on July 17th, but there’s one important piece of business that needs to get sorted out. You know…whether running back Saquon Barkley will play under a long-term contract or not.

After coming to terms on a multi-year extension with quarterback Daniel Jones back in March, Big Blue immediately slapped the $10.1 million franchise tag on Barkley before the deadline. That was the beginning of a long standoff between both sides. Saquon and his camp want more security than the franchise tag, but they don’t have much leverage. In fact, the only leverage the former Penn State Nittany Lion has is to hold out.

Giants insider Art Stapleton ran down what’s at stake with training camp a week away:

The last we heard about anything significant with these negotiations was a week ago. Here’s what ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on Sportscenter on July 3rd (quote via Yahoo! Sports):

I just checked in on this and I was told there’s no hard-and-fast update right now, but there is at least some level of optimism that these sides can come to an agreement at some point.

They’ve been talking throughout the offseason. Giants ownership values Barkley; he’s considered a centerpiece-type player for them. But Barkley wants a stronger contract structure, most likely stronger guarantees in how that contract is structured. So, the Giants have to find a sweet spot there.

We’ve been in the dark for most of the offseason regarding what the hold-up is between the Giants and Barkley’s camp. However, as Fowler said above, it likely has something to do with the amount of guaranteed money he could stand to earn in this next contract.

There’s still a week left before other decisions need to start being made. That’s a lot of time when it comes to contract negotiations, so there shouldn’t be a huge level of concern just yet. But it’ll be good to have this saga officially in the rearview mirror, wouldn’t it? Barkley is still a big part of the Giants’ offense, and they need him in the backfield. You know Herm Edwards agrees with that.

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.