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Penn State in the NFL

Saquon Barkley Won’t be Franchise-Tagged

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 19: New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is congratulated after his touchdown by guard Ben Bredeson (68) during the NFL game between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders on November 19, 2023 at Fed Ex Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will not be franchised by the New York Football Giants, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This means Barkley is now free to play wherever he wants, provided the team wants him as well.

Barkley has been with the Giants since the team drafted him out of Penn State with the second overall pick in 2018.

When Barkley’s been healthy, he’s been one of the best running backs in the NFL, as evidenced by him winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and eclipsing 1,000 yards three times, along with his solid work as a pass-catcher (721 receiving yards as a rookie. But Barkley hasn’t always been healthy. He missed almost the entire 2020 season with a torn ACL and it took two years for him to return to pre-injury form. The Giants would like to keep the 27-year-old in the fold, but GM Joe Schoen and co. know it might not play out that way.

“He’s a captain,” Schoen said last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “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 (over the past year) 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.”

Schoen said he didn’t see franchise-tagging Saquon Barkley as “off the table.” Now, it looks like it is.

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