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Giants GM Doesn’t See Franchise Tagging Saquon Barkley as ‘Off the Table’

INDIANAPOLIS– In his six NFL seasons, former Penn State RB Saquon Barkley has shown to be capable of being one of the league’s best backs when healthy. 

But his future with the New York Giants has been uncertain for a while, and as of the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, it still is. 

Giants GM Joe Schoen knew he’d be asked about Barkley, and addressed the matter at his presser Tuesday.

“We’re going to talk with his representatives this week,” Schoen said. “There’s nothing new on that front. The conversation, the plan all along was to meet here in Indy and have those discussions about how we’re going to move forward with him. He’s a guy we’d like to have back.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the previous day that Barkley wasn’t expected to be franchise-tagged, but Schoen didn’t eliminate that possibility.

“I wouldn’t say the franchise tag is off the table,” he said. “No, I mean, I think the new number, if we’re going to franchise somebody for the first time in that position as like another guy, his number’s not much more than that. So the salary cap changes and your philosophy for how you’re going to attack does. So that’s not off the table.”

“In a perfect world, we won’t want to do it.”

Schoen was asked if Barkley’s value to the team has changed from the last offseason to this one, and he doesn’t feel that it has. 

“He’s a captain. He’s a leader. He’s a hard worker. I think the world of Saquon, and I still think he can play. So my value for Saquon really hasn’t changed, and unfortunately, throughout the process starting back in November 2022, we weren’t able to come to an agreement in terms of where we were. I thought a deal made sense. So we’ll circle back again. He has a new agent, Ed Berry, who we have a really good relationship with.”

The Giants would like to have Saquon Barkley back, but Schoen didn’t pretend that was a sure thing. 

“I know he says he wants a fair deal, and I appreciate that. Ultimately, we have to do what’s best for the franchise short-term and long-term, and we’ll take all those things into account.”

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