Saquon Barkley Update: Monday deadline looms large for Giants’ 2023 plans

Saquon Barkley Giants
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

He hasn’t been with the team now for a full season, but Evan Engram has thrown a new wrinkle into the contract negotiations between Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants. 

Engram signed a three-year, $42 million extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon that beat Monday’s deadline when players under the franchise tag must sign a long-term deal with their current team. Now, Barkley is one of just three players to wait on a long-term deal with their current team while being under the tag. 

Barkley is coming off one of his better seasons since the Giants drafted him with the second overall selection in 2018. The Penn State product tallied over 1,600 yards of total offense while touching the ball a career-high 352 times. The lack of a market for free-agent running backs has lowered the price point the team is willing to spend on their pro-bowl back. 

The deal agreed upon by Engram doesn’t help matters either for the Giants or their star offensive weapon. Engram is set to make over $24 million in guarantees with Jacksonville and is coming off his best season as a pro (73 catches, 700+ yards, and a catch percentage of over 74%). The $24 million is also significantly more guaranteed money than Barkley has been offered to this point in negotiations. 

Jaguars tight end Evan Engram stiff-arms Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram stiff-arms Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner.AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post reported that the best offer the Giants have given their back had just $19 million in guaranteed money. 

Barkley and Engram play two different positions and the contractual value of both positions has changed over the last few years. Still, a former Giant having a solid season and getting a higher-valued contract than New York’s best offensive player further complicates the negotiation process that Big Blue is currently having. The longer it drags out, the more likely it is that the Pro Bowl running back could miss regular season games as well. 

The deadline for Barkley to agree on an extension with the team that drafted him is Monday at 4:00 pm – ET. 

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