EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Giants general manager Joe Schoen didn’t have any new updates on the ongoing contract situation with Saquon Barkley.
The Giants running back has not signed his tender offer and has not been at the team’s offseason program which began this week. Barkley isn’t allowed inside the Giants’ facility until he has signed his tender.
Schoen was quick to say that the situation hasn’t changed since he spoke to reporters at the NFL owner’s meetings in March, but indicated that he had positive conversations with Dexter Lawrence’s representatives and that they even spoke this week. Lawrence is also not attending the optional offseason program while his agent tries to negotiate a contract extension for the defensive lineman.
The two situations were already different, but the comments by Schoen seem to put them in very different places as the NFL Draft approaches and the offseason rolls on.
“We’ve had good conversations with Dexter’s representatives and we’ll see where that stands,” Schoen said.
While Dexter is not at the team’s facility, Schoen didn’t seem too worried about the absence and reiterated that they were voluntary and that it was still very early in the offseason. “Dexter knows how we feel about him and he knows he’s an important part of the organization,” Schoen said.
Lawrence was named second-team All-Pro last season and set new career marks with his 7.5 sacks and 28 quarterback hits. The defensive lineman also had career highs in total tackles, tackles for losses, pass breakups and forced fumbles.
Barkley had his best NFL season in 2022 since his rookie year with a career-best 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns while being named AP Comeback Player of the Year. While the Giants’ back was successful last year, the front office has maintained a stance that they’d get a long-term deal with Barkley done at the right price.
When pressed further on the contract situation with Barkley, Schoen said that his focus was on the draft.
“I’m just gonna get through the draft right now,” Schoen said. “My focus right now is solely on that. There’s no rush right now. I just want to get through the draft and then step back after that, and we’ll see what the roster looks like and go from there.”
Still, Barkley’s contract situation will remain part of the offseason narrative until a resolution comes. The Giants have until July to work out a long-term extension and that has raised some questions over whether Barkley would be on the field at the start of the season.
Schoen pointed to Barkley when was posed that question.
“You’d have to ask him,” Schoen said. “I’m not sure what his plan is. I haven’t talked to him in probably three weeks.”