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Giants pick up Saquon Barkley’s fifth-year option

New York will retain the services of its star rusher for at least another season after 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Giants are picking up star running back Saquon Barkley’s fifth-year option, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The fifth-year option of Barkley’s contract will cost the Giants $7.27 million, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. That amount is less than the former Penn State Nittany Lion’s 2021 cap hit of $10.025 million.

The option year pickup could signal that the Giants would use the extra year as a placeholder for an extension. It could also be used as a “prove-it deal” should Barkley continue to face injury woes.

Conversely, the Giants could conceivably move on entirely from Barkley after 2022, a move not entirely unheard given the perceived diminishing value of running backs among NFL franchises. However, a move like this could raise eyebrows given Barkley’s star status.

Nevertheless, Giants fans should be pleased knowing he’s locked in for at least the next two years.

Barkley tore his ACL in a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears last season. He was promptly placed on injured reserve on September 22, 2020.

His finest year came in 2018 during his first season in the NFL. That year the running back pounded out 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, while catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four scores.