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Saquon Barkley: ‘I want to be part of’ Giants’ build toward contention

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Saquon Barkley New York Giants
Saquon Barkley (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Saquon Barkley achieved almost everything he wanted to in 2022. 

He proved that he is still one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL, overcoming an onslaught of injuries in recent years to post a career-high 1,312 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns to help lead the Giants to their first playoff berth in six years and first postseason win in 11 before bowing out in the Divisional Round against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 38-7 drubbing on Saturday night.

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“The way the year ended sucks,” Barkley said on Sunday. “We didn’t go out how we would’ve liked to have gone out, but there was a lot of good that happened this year that you can improve on and build. It was fun. Something I always wanted to do.

“I always wanted to play in the playoffs, compete for a championship. Obviously the first couple years it didn’t happen but I believe we’ll get to the spot at some point. I want to be part of it. I’ve been vocal about that.”

That’s continued music to Giants fans’ ears as the 25-year-old running back begins his offseason as a free agent where he’ll be one of the more high-profile talents available. 

But like his quarterback, Daniel Jones, Barkley proved that he’s worthy of being considered as a foundational cornerstone of a Giants team that was well ahead of schedule in 2023 — winning nine games in the regular season before defeating the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Round.

With it comes the alignment for a handsome payday — even potentially setting a new record for a deal given to a running back despite playing 60 of a possible 82 games since his NFL debut in 2018.

“I’m not really too concerned about resetting any markets,” Barkley said. “I’m realistic. I know what I was on pace to do but having two years filled up with injuries and having a season of not performing to the level that I can perform [2021] doesn’t help.

“I think I was able to show the type of player that I am and the things I’m able to do on the football field. That was something I wanted to do, that was my goal this year and I was able to accomplish that. Now it’s just sit down with my agent and see what happens.”

The negotiations with Barkley’s representation and Giants general manager Joe Schoen will be the continuation of talks that began during the team’s bye week in Week 9 but were put on the back burner for the second half of the season

“We would’ve loved to have gotten the deal done during the bye week,” Barkley said. “Obviously, it wasn’t able to get done but it’s fine… I couldn’t imagine that being the last time being in a Giants uniform but that’s just the nature of the business. I can’t control any of that. It comes with it. I’ve been vocal with how I feel and I’m excited for the future.”

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For more on the Giants and Saquon Barkley, visit AMNY.com

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