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Saquon Barkley contract negotiations: Giants’ best offer reportedly $19.5M guaranteed

Barkley could make more than $22 million on two franchise tags

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The best offer the New York Giants have made to running back Saquon Barkley has included $19.5 million in guaranteed money, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.

The franchise tag for running backs this year and next would net Barkley $22.2 million. As an unnamed agent told Dunleavy, “No deal to be done that low.”

The Giants and Barkley have until Monday, July 17 to reach a long-term deal. If they don’t, Barkley would have no choice but to play on the tag or another one-year deal.

A report on Tuesday indicated that the Giants and Barkley were “at a stalemate,” and Barkley could sit out all of training camp — or longer — without a deal.

Barkley said last month that he was looking to be “compensated respectfully,” and that the reported value of other offers from the Giants he had turned down was “misleading.”

Barkley’s words, via Adam Schefter:

“As I have previously stated I am not looking to set any contract records. I’m not demanding to be the highest-paid player at my position. I understand the market. My goal is just to be compensated respectfully based on my contributions to the team on the field and in the locker room. I’ve been in talks with the Giants throughout the offseason. If at some point there’s a deal that is fair to be both sides on the table, I’ll be ready to sign.”

Barkley had said “I don’t know” when asked in mid-June if a deal could be reached.

If Dunleavy’s numbers are accurate, and Big Blue View has no reason to doubt them, we know why Barkley has rejected previous offers. He is never signing a multi-year deal at that number.

CBS Sports salary cap analyst Joel Corry, a former high-profile sports agent, told the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast nearly two months ago that any offer Barkley would take seriously would have to be at or above the $22.2 million he would be guaranteed under the franchise tag over the next two seasons.

Here is part of what Corry said:

Two [franchise] tags is $22 million. You’ve gotta give the guy a way to save face in a negotiation. You’re not giving him a chance to save face.

“That’s going to be an important variable. You’ve gotta give him a chance to save face with all the information that’s out there of where the offers are and how the public opinion is he made a mistake in turning it down.

“That’s going to be detrimental to the process.”

Corry had said at the time that the Giants might be signaling a willingness to let Barkley take his chances on the tag.

Corry said that if the Giants truly want a long-term agreement with Barkley, they can’t lowball him at this point.

“You’ve got a huge problem if you do that because whatever you offered him in November when he was a priority over Daniel Jones if you can’t get back to that point, I suspect he’s playing on the franchise tag,” Corry said.

“If you have any offer that is less than the value of two franchise tags over the first two years he’s going to take his chances on the franchise tag.”

Corry said the Giants might be signaling a willingness to let Barkley play on the tag.

“The next step will be where that initial offer comes in for the Giants. If they’re under where they initially were when they negotiated during the season around the bye week, then you may have a problem,” Corry said.

“Them pulling the offer to me signals we’re fine if you play on the tag, and it’s going to be a deal of our liking as opposed to us really trying to bridge the differences from where we were.”

Another agent told Big Blue View that if a deal is reached, “it won’t be at his [Barkley’s] number, but it’ll be more than the team wants to pay.”

“We’ve got to draw a line in the sand” in contract negotiations GM Joe Schoen had said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We’ve gotta come up with a walkaway number where this is too rich for us because there’s risk in it.

The Giants stepped over their theoretical “line in the sand” in offseason negotiations with quarterback Daniel Jones. Will Schoen and the Giants blink in talks with their star running back, a player co-owner John Mara has made clear he would like to see spend his career as a Giant? If they don’t, what will Barkley’s next move be? As was speculated on Wednesday, could that be a holdout through most or all of training camp?

Stay tuned.