Saquon Barkley to skip New York Giants minicamp this week as he awaits a new deal

Saquon Barkley to skip New York Giants minicamp this week as he awaits a new deal
Video saquon barkley rookie mini camp

The New York Giants are slated to kickoff mandatory minicamp this week, and expectations are high surrounding the team. While they entered last season with almost no expectations, given the state of their roster and salary cap coming into 2022, the Giants shocked the NFL world in their first year under general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. New York secured a playoff spot and beat the Minnesota Vikings on the road in the Wild Card Round.

While the Giants ultimately lost the following week to the PHiladelphia Eagles, their season surpassed all expectations. Part of their success was the improved play from quarterback Daniel Jones, and another big reason for their success was a full year of Saquon Barkley.

Barkley appeared in 16 regular-season games last season, for the first time since his rookie campaign, and he was only inactive in the season finale with the Giants having clinched a playoff spot. He had 295 carries for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns, and was one of New York’s most productive receivers. Barkley had 57 receptions on 76 targets — both of which led the Giants — and gained 338 yards through the air.

A drawback to that success? Both players needed new contracts. The Giants inked Jones to a new contract, and decided to use the franchise tag on Barkley.

The running back, however, has yet to sign the franchise tag, and stated Sunday night that he would not be reporting to the team’s minicamp this week:

The running back cannot participate until he signs the tag, a new contract, or a participation waiver.

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Barkley’s statement reflects the current market for the running back position. The value of a franchise tag for a running back for the 2023 league year is $10,091,000, which is below every other position in the league but for special-teams players. In today’s NFL, running backs are seeing the value of their position pushed further down the table, and Barkley does not have to look too far in the past to see how teams are handling the position.

Just last Friday the Minnesota Vikings released Dalvin Cook, who was set for a big payday under his current contact. Cook was due $10.4 million in base salary this season, $11.9 million in 2024 and $12.9 million in 2025, per Spotrac.

By releasing him, the Vikings save $9 million in cap space.

At the start of May, Schoen appeared on Good Morning Football, and the general manager made it clear that he wants Barkley in the fold for next season. “Listen, Saquon is a very good football player, captain last year. He’s a good locker room guy. I love him. We want him to be here,” Schoen said. “But you’ve got to have a deal where both parties are happy with where you end up. That’s what we’re going to try to work for and see if we can get something we can both agree on.”

Barkley’s absence this week might get the parties moving towards making that deal.