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Saquon Barkley franchise tag update: What does Barkley adding CAA to negotiating team mean?

There are, of course, conflicting opinions

NFL: Pro Bowl Skills Competition Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley adding Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to his negotiating team as he tries to reach a long-term contract agreement with the New York Giants is an interesting twist.

What Barkley did not do is switch agents. He is still represented by Roc Nation, with Kim Miale as his representative. What Barkley has done is add CAA, which other reports have said has handled his marketing since he entered the NFL, to the group negotiating a deal with the Giants. The NFLPA database lists Ed Berry as Barkley’s CAA rep.

This type of move is not unheard of. Remember that Giants quarterback Daniel Jones switched from CAA to Athletes First this offseason right as negotiations with the Giants for his long-term deal were about to begin.

What others are saying

Here is a brief look around the Internet at what some others are currently saying about the Barkley negotiations.

Leonard: Be surprising if Giants, Saquon Barkley didn’t reach a deal

Pat Leonard of the Daily News says “it’s hard to believe” the Giants and Barkley won’t find a compromise by Monday’s deadline.

It should be as simple as this: getting Barkley to around $13 million per year with at least $22.2 million total guaranteed.

Barkley consistently has expressed frustration with the perception that he has already turned down that type of deal. He has not. The guaranteed money hasn’t reached the $22.2 million level that he would make if he played on consecutive franchise tags in 2023 and 2024.

If per-game roster bonuses are included, that’s another hedge by a team against a player’s injury history and future availability, as well.

One of the biggest threats to a deal getting done, and one of the most interesting subplots to this standoff, is that the conflict has gotten personal. That has ratcheted up the tension.

Saquon Barkley Giants contract saga seems headed for holdout

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post thinks a Barkley holdout is on the horizon.

It is naive to think Barkley will admit defeat and say, “Well, I gave it my best shot, the Giants didn’t budge, so I’ll sign the tag and report on time with my teammates.’’ ESPN reported on Tuesday that without a new contract, Barkley’s availability for the Sept. 10 season-opener against the Cowboys would be in doubt.

The threat of Barkley missing camp, however, will probably not incite the Giants to increase their offer.

Barkley could not be fined for missing training camp because he would not be under contract.

That would go against his desire to work alongside his teammates — he is one of the most popular players on the roster — and it is debatable what his absence would accomplish, unless he is contemplating sitting out the entire 2023 season in protest.

That is highly unlikely.

“I don’t know what it would do,’’ a longtime NFL player agent told The Post about a possible Barkley holdout. “There’s nothing I could think of where [the Giants] would be more motivated. The upside of not signing the tag now is you get to not go to training camp. I’d have to be convinced by him that that’s a positive. If it is, that’s great.’’

By not reporting to camp, Barkley would save wear-and-tear on his body.

A second veteran player agent said Barkley needs to stay out of camp to send a message to the Giants that he cannot be “bullied,’’ so they will think twice about putting the franchise tag on him again in 2024.

“You have to set a stage for next year,’’ the second agent said. “You have to let them know this is not gonna be easy. You have to set a stage with a little bit of f–k you in it. Don’t make it so easy on ’em.’’