Saquon Barkley Enters Free Agency as Giants Decline Franchise Tag Option

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter predicts that Giants running back Saquon Barkley will hit free agency in March, with the team unlikely to use the franchise tag on him.

Barkley is part of a notable group of running backs facing the open market, despite the NFL’s salary cap increasing from $224.8 million to $255.4 million for the 2024 season.

While the Giants will engage in discussions with Barkley and explore a potential deal, Schefter suggests it’s improbable that the team will use the franchise tag on the 27-year-old before the approaching deadline. 

Giants beat writer Paul Schwartz of the New York Post previously indicated that the organization is hesitant to allocate a significant portion of their salary cap, around $12.1 million in 2024, for a single running back, especially one they perceive as potentially in decline.

Schwartz’s latest report suggests that it wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants fail to reach a contract agreement with Barkley’s camp during the upcoming scouting combine. 

Reevaluating Saquon Barkley’s Worth

saquon-barkley-enters-free-agency-as-giants-decline-franchise-tag-option
ESPN’s Adam Schefter predicts that Giants running back Saquon Barkley will hit free agency in March, with the team unlikely to use the franchise tag on him.

Saquon Barkley has hinted at letting the open market determine his value while expressing a willingness to give Giants general manager Joe Schoen the opportunity to match or surpass the best offer from another team.

Despite Barkley’s desire to be a Giant for life, the evolving circumstances suggest that his potential cost may not be as exorbitant as initially anticipated. As a team captain and the Giants’ primary offensive weapon, Barkley’s departure could have significant implications for the franchise, particularly as they seek to rebound from a 6-11 season.

The situation adds an interesting dynamic, as Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who may be on the hot seat after a challenging campaign, and co-owner John Mara could have compelling reasons to persuade Schoen to reconsider letting Barkley sign with another team, especially if division-rival Dallas Cowboys show serious interest in the former second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The unfolding negotiations and potential outcomes will undoubtedly keep Giants fans and the NFL community on edge in the coming weeks.

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