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Deadlines spur action. So Saquon Barkley and the Giants certainly could strike a deal Monday, even if they seem miles apart.

Daniel Jones got things done with Big Blue in the final minutes back in March, remember. And if you want to go further back into local franchise tag history — the Jets wish you would not — things seemed even more hopeless with Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016 than they have with Barkley. And then he got paid out of nowhere right before the tag extension deadline.

But we do not see a similar result here. Our gut tells us there are only two ways Barkley gets a multi-year deal before 4 p.m. — the star running back caves on his demands or Giants co-owner John Mara blinks and meddles. The former seems impossible given how far Barkley has taken this. The latter is conceivable, but unlikely based on general manager Joe Schoen’s tenure to date.

And you know what? There should not be a deal. Because there is no compelling reason for the Giants to give Barkley one. The smart move — the right one — is to make him play on the $10.1 million tag and do this all again in 2024.

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Barkley plays a position that has diminished in importance and value in the modern NFL. That reality is reflected in the depressed running back market — a market that is not going to improve anytime soon. Barkley also has a significant injury history. He is 26 and missed 21 games due to injury from 2019-21. He stayed in the lineup last year, but he appeared to get banged up and slump down the stretch.

Stop with the “face of the team” pablum that Barkley’s fawning admirers push. No one is buying tickets solely to see Barkley play. Moreover, we would argue the face of the Giants remains Eli Manning. The guy no longer suits up, but he remains present in every other facet of the organization. And stop with the disingenuous game about how the Giants paid Jones, so it is only fair they reward the superior player next.

Is Barkley objectively better at his position than Jones is at his? Yes. But the Giants had a compelling reason to give Jones his new deal. One, it has nothing to do with deserve — Jones’ positional neighborhood is a heck of a lot richer than Barkley’s. Second, Schoen had no choice. Jones delivered in his prove-it season and the Giants had no other viable option at quarterback. They could not let him hit the market. They had to retain him. And they had to do whatever they could to avoid carrying his massive tag cap hit.

Lastly: Barkley’s threats about missing regular season games are hollow. Let him skip training camp. It means nothing. But he is going to be there for Week 1 against the Cowboys. Barkley is not going to give up money. This is not Le’Veon Bell all over again. Bell was on his second tag with the Steelers. He had already collected $12 million the year prior when he sat out the season. And he knew Pittsburgh would not tag him again. There is a big difference between his situation then and Barkley now.

If we ran the Giants, we would have moved on from Barkley. He is a dynamic player, but they are too far away from a Super Bowl-caliber roster to waste money on him. But if you are going to keep him, it needs to be under reasonable terms. And the Giants have those here. They have conducted themselves accordingly, and we do not think that will change now.

James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.