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Giants news, 7/20: Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence, Jihad Ward, more headlines

New York Giants news for Thursday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Saquon Barkley says sitting out season ‘a play I could use’

In a podcast interview recorded six days before the July 17 franchise tag deadline, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley sounded like he knew he might have to play on the franchise tag this season — and was prepared to do just that.

“My leverage is I could say, ‘F–k you’ to the Giants, I could say, ‘F–k you to my teammates,’” Barkley said. “And be like, ‘You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down.’ And that’s a play I could use.’

“Anybody [who] knows me, knows that’s not something I want to do.

More from Big Blue View

Other Giant observations

Breaking Down Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard Negotiations | The 33rd Team

Former NFL GM Joe Banner weighs in:

Other than Christian McCaffrey, there are about half a dozen really good running backs who signed new contracts in the past three seasons. And, at that time, they were the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. They all got about $12 million per year.

My point is simple: if you just took that $12 million average and account for the fact that the cap has gone up almost $50 million since then, in today’s value, the price of a top running back should be just short of $15 million per year. Now, teams may claim they won’t go as high as McCaffrey’s deal, but Barkley is as good or better than the group of players who got $12 million per year.

Giants have some Saquon Barkley options left to try | New York Post

If the Giants get antsy about Barkley’s absence in the preseason spilling into the regular season, they could offer a clause forfeiting the right to use a second franchise tag next offseason in exchange for him signing the $10.1 million tag and reporting sooner, or offer a slight raise over the tag-guaranteed baseline salary.

Suffice to say, former Eagle LeSean McCoy is not a Daniel Jones believer

PFF50: The 50 best players in the NFL right now | PFF

29. DI Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants

Lawrence became one of the most unstoppable defensive linemen in the game last season. His 92.0 overall grade tied with Chris Jones for the best among interior linemen in the regular season, and he finished with 63 total pressures. Unlike most pass-rushing interior linemen, Lawrence still spent over 500 snaps lined up in the A-gaps as a true nose tackle at over 340 pounds.

Most important non-QB for every NFC team: Chase Young, Bijan Robinson and more | PFF

The New York spotlight shone heavily on Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley last season, but the emergence of left tackle Andrew Thomas shouldn’t go unnoticed. Thomas was, by far, the Giants’ best offensive player. Ranked third in the NFL with a 90.3 overall grade, Thomas was one of only three tackles with 80.0-plus grades in both run blocking and pass protection. He is the anchor of the Giants’ offensive line. He could soon lead an elite unit if Evan Neal and John Michael Schmitz live up to their pre-draft hype.

23 Questions in 23 Days: Goals for defense |

The Giants ranked second-to-last in giving up 5.23 yards per carry and were 27th in allowing 144.2 per game. To address that, the Giants signed inside linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive linemen Rakeem Nunez-Roches and A’Shawn Robinson. Of course, they also signed Dexter Lawrence, the franchise’s first interior defensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since Erik Howard in 1990, to a new contract.

Giants roster breakdown: One pre-training camp thought on every player on defense | The Athletic

But in the short-term, Ojulari needs to be on the field this season to earn a raise in the final season of his rookie contract. If Ojulari plays at least 60 percent of the Giants’ defensive snaps this season, his 2024 salary will increase from $1.6 million to around $3 million due to the NFL’s proven performance escalator for players not drafted in the first round.

50 under-the-radar players who could shape the 2023 season |

26. John Michael Schmitz (C), Giants: Surprise! Another second-round center with key responsibilities immediately. Schmitz and Daniel Jones will have to mesh quickly after the Giants lost both of their main center options -- Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates -- in free agency.

Isaiah Hodgins talks about the injury he played through in the playoffs last year

Inside lifelong Giants fan’s letters with owner John Mara | New York Post+

Les Grodnick likes going, but he will not go to night games, and that aversion was the impetus for his most recent correspondence with John Mara, the Giants’ co-owner.

Over/Under Win Predictions for Every NFL Team in 2023 | Bleacher Report

New York Giants (O/U 7.5): Under with 7 projected wins

B/R’s Brad Gagnon writes “I don’t trust either Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley for a Giants team that played above its head as a bottom-12 DVOA squad in 2022. Look for them to come back to earth with a drop-off from 9-7-1.”

Which NFL teams are best bets to win each division? Projecting over, undervalued squads | The Athletic

The Giants are touted as the most overvalued team in the NFC East

I don’t know what happens with running back Saquon Barkley but his dynamic ability is key to this offense… and more importantly, quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones’ ability to run the ball last year was a pleasant surprise and a lot of that came off the threat of Barkley. Yes, head coach Brian Daboll is a mastermind on the offensive side of the ball, but explosive playmakers make life a lot easier. I think last year’s performance was the ceiling for Jones, regression is coming and I don’t think it ends well for the Giants.

Boomer: Collusion among NFL teams to not pay running backs? |

“I understand the realities of the league, and that this is a passing league first, but these guys are so integral in the passing game as they are in the running game,” Boomer said. “I believe that [Barkley] feels he is being totally disrespected…I understand that part of it as a former player.

“Dalvin Cook, he’s got this $7 million offer from Minnesota, and they want him back, but he feels disrespected because they cut him, and they want him to take less money. Joe Mixon made less money and took a pay cut. He’s doing all the heavy lifting in Cincinnati, but if he wanted to stay, he had to take a pay cut. I put it out there, ‘Collusion, anyone?’”

Around the league

JC Tretter on running backs' leverage: I can't recommend faking injuries, at least publicly | Pro Football Talk

Austin Ekeler wants to hear from NFL owners on why RBs aren’t getting paid |

Veteran RB Leonard Fournette working out for Patriots |

Zack Martin unhappy with contract, may not report to training camp | Pro Football Talk

Jets planning to release WR Denzel Mims if no trade materializes |

Quinnen Williams: I haven’t scratched the surface of what I can do | Pro Football Talk

Steelers' Alex Highsmith signs 4-year, $68 million extension |

Patrick Mahomes ‘in a good spot’ with ankle as QB as Chiefs report to training camp |

Browns release DT Perrion Winfrey following robbery incident |

NFL’s top 10 edge defenders in pressures on true pass sets: Cowboys’ Parsons, Jaguars’ Allen rank in the top five | PFF

2023 NFL season: 50 things to know with 50 days until Week 1 kickoff |

Seahawks reveal 90s throwback jerseys | Pro Football Talk

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