March 7 update: The Giants placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Saquon Barkley after signing Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million contract. A team would have to give up two first-round picks to sign Barkley to a contract.
With NFL free agency just days away, the New York Giants could be on the cusp of losing star running back Saquon Barkley to another franchise. The Giants are working hard to retain their best offensive asset ahead of March 16, but their commitment to quarterback Daniel Jones could wind up being their undoing.
2023 in review
Barkley had an exceptional comeback year for New York in his fifth campaign — amassing 295 carries for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns — and helped lead the team to its first playoff appearance since 2017. He also caught 57 passes for 338 yards as a receiver. The Giants offense was significantly more imposing when Barkley was on the field in 16 games last season, but it appears that the organization foresees a higher ceiling with Jones moving forward, in a wavering approach to become a better passing team.
Do the Giants want to keep him?
The Giants have just one franchise tag to use on a player this offseason. They will likely use it on Jones, so they can avoid handing the 25-year-old QB a hefty contract extension, which is going to put them in a bit of a financial quandary with Barkley.
Barkley is easily the most coveted running back in NFL free agency.