Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley had perhaps the best season of his NFL career this past year when he had over 1,600 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns en route to his second pro bowl appearance.
But his rookie deal with the New York Giants expired this past year. Combine that with the Giants not picking up quarterback Daniel Jones’ fifth-year option before this past season, and questions have arisen on whether or not Barkley would be back for the Giants next year.
Giants’ general manager Joe Schoen expressed cautious optimism to a pool of reporters at the NFL Combine earlier today on bringing back both key offensive players to the Giants for the 2023-24 NFL season.
“I would say cautiously optimistic,” he said about the possibility of extending both players. He mentioned that if an extension can’t be agreed to with Jones, then he’d likely franchise tag him.
But what about Barkley? Well, the reasoning for bringing him back was laid out by Schoen.
“You’ve got to look at production, durability, games played, production versus other comps throughout the league,” said Schoen. “And that’s usually where they land from a financial standpoint. You’ve got to draw a line in the sand where we’re not going any further, and if it goes past this, alright, let’s shift to Plan B….”
“We haven’t totally bridged (the gap). We’re a little bit closer. There’s still a gap.”
Barkley has played in the NFL for five years now and has three 1,000+ yard rushing seasons and two pro bowl appearances. He was selected by the Giants with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after a stellar career at Penn State.