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Penn State in the NFL

Saquon Barkley Discusses his Leverage on the New York Giants

Saquon Barkley is on of the Penn State players in the NFL playoffs
Photo by New York Giants: Saquon Barkley

The continuing story of Saquon Barkley and his contract saga is one of the more compelling topics of this NFL offseason. 

Barkley, one of Penn State’s favorite sons who has been with the Giants since 2018, is currently negotiating a new contract with the only NFL team he’s played for.

But the two sides didn’t reach a deal before the July 17 deadline for franchise players to sign multi-year contracts, and Barkley has said holding out into the season isn’t out of the question. 

Barkley recently went on the Money Matters Podcast, and unsurprisingly, his contract was a discussion.

No. 26 didn’t hold anything back on what he feels his leverage is. 

“My leverage is I could say ‘fuck you’ to the Giants,” Barkley said. “I could say ‘fuck you’ to my teammates and be like, ‘You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you valuable to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down. That’s a play I can use. 

Barkley made it clear that this isn’t his preferred route. 

“Anybody (who) knows me knows that’s not something I want to do,” he said. “But, like, is it something that’s crossed my mind? I never thought I would ever do that, but now I’m at a point where it’s like, ‘Jesus.’ Like, I might have to take it to this level. 

Am I willing? Am I prepared to take it to that level? I don’t know. That’s something I have to sit down. I have to talk to my family. I have to sit down and talk to my team. I have to really, you know, strategize about this. Can’t just go off of emotions.” 

Barkley’s situation gives some NFL fans flashbacks to the Le’veon Bell saga. Bell, then one of the league’s best backs, didn’t reach a long-term deal with the Steelers and ended up holding out for the entire 2018 season. Bell ended up signing with the Jets before the 2019 season and hasn’t been able to recapture his old form in the years since. 

The Saquon Barkley saga has sparked plenty of debate about how franchises treat NFL running backs. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that NFL runningbacks have formed a group text chain for players to discuss their concerns and how to address them. 

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