While Daniel Jones’ four-year, $160M contract extension grabbed headlines on Tuesday afternoon, the New York Giants made another crucial move: placing the franchise tag on star running back Saquon Barkley to keep him with the organization for the 2023 campaign.
The tag, worth $10.1 million, is less thn the $12.5 million per year deal Barkley turned down durign the 2022 bye week. Barkley ranked third in the NFL in rushing with 1,312 yards on the ground to go along with 10 touchdowns in 2022. General manager Joe Schoen made it clear on Wednesday that he hopes for the former number two overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to eventually be locked up long-term.
“We’ve had deals out, whether it was the bye week or recently,” Schoen said. “We’re going to continue to negotiate. We love Saquon, he’s a good teammate, he’s a captain, he’s a helluva player.”
With Jones and Barkley locked up, the Giants will now look to build out the rest of their core for the upcoming campaign. Whether that be working on an extension with All-Pro defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, searching for a surefire WR1 for Jones, or scouting cornerbacks and linebackers, there is still work to be done, but Schoen knows that for 2023, two of his most essential pieces are locked in. And he hopes to ensure Barkley is a piece that’s locked in for the future sooner rather than later.
“Right now he’s under the franchise tag,” Schoen said. “As we build the team and continue with our offseason plan we’ll do what’s best for the team. We’re still mapping that out.”
Schoen said he could understand if Barkley is not thrilled about having been tagged.
“That’s negotiations. We had some deals out there, and we tried to get a deal done with him and his representatives. And we couldn’t. I think both parties knew at the end of the day that this was an option, and if he’s frustrated, I can understand some of that,” Schoen said. “We could be frustrated as well that we weren’t able to get a deal done. I love Saquon. He’s a good player. He’s going to be a part of this team going forward. We’ll see where it goes from here.”