According to NFL Insider Jordan Schultz of The Score, the New York Giants will place the franchise tag on former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
Barkley is coming off a career-high 1,312 yards on 295 carries, which was good for fourth in the NFL, and ten touchdowns this past season. He added 57 catches for 338 yards for the Giants, who improved its win total by five games under new head coach Brian Daboll and made the divisional round of the playoffs, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.
This came along after two injury-marred seasons; Barkley made his second Pro Bowl and was second in the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award losing out to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. He had his best season since his rookie season where he accounted for 2,028 total yards and 15 total touchdowns.
Barkley was the number-two pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. During his time at Penn State, he set a program record for most career all-purpose yards (5,538) and rushing touchdowns (43).
Barkley got the franchise tag because the Giants reached a four-year deal with quarterback Daniel Jones worth $160 million with another $35 in incentives, which allowed New York to tag Barkley. Had the Giants not reached a deal for Jones, then he would have gotten tagged, and Barkley would have most likely reached free agency.
If Barkley and the Giants can’t reach a long-term deal, he will play under the $10.091 million in 2023. Barkley may have more leverage than your average running back trying to secure a long-term deal because he is arguably the team’s best pass catcher as he tied for the team lead in reception with Richie James.
The parties have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal.