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Analyzing potential Giants outcomes of Saquon Barkley’s contract dilemma

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As soon as upon a time, the Giants rewarded an oft-injured game-breaker with a brand new top-dollar contract after he opted to not maintain out from coaching camp in his fifth season. 

That difficult Odell Beckham Jr. negotiation from 2018 seems to be like baby’s play in comparison with what’s forward for the Giants and Saquon Barkley, whose once-ideal marriage has been turned to this point the wrong way up by accidents prior to now two years that it’s now not doable to tell apart the best-case and worst-case eventualities for both facet. 

Barkley obtained his want this offseason when the Giants by no means significantly thought-about buying and selling him for much-needed wage cap reduction, however there was by no means any public stress to increase him because the highest-paid participant at his place like there was when Beckham Jr. was coming into his stroll yr. Definitely no considered a holdout. 

Chalk it as much as the distinction of operating back-versus-receiver and the belief the Giants are usually not on the cusp of a deep playoff run, as was the delusion 4 years in the past. So, what does the long run maintain for Barkley and the Giants? Listed below are the probabilities: 

Barkley performs properly and is re-signed 

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley is coming into the final season on his contract.
Getty Photos

It’s not as loopy because it sounds for Barkley to get again to his 2018 type of 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns from scrimmage. 

One faculty of thought is a few gamers don’t return to full power till the second season after a significant knee damage just like the one Barkley suffered in September 2020. One other issue is Barkley lastly is in an offense able to utilizing his numerous speeding and receiving expertise moderately than misfitting him like a Nineties-style I-form energy again. 

If this occurs, the Giants should determine in the event that they wish to be the newest workforce to reset the operating again market. There can be shouting from each side of the fence: Critics who level to a poor return on funding for the Rams (Todd Gurley) and — to this point — for the Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott) and Panthers (Christian McCaffrey), in addition to proponents who see Barkley as each an elite playmaker and face-of-the-franchise marketable star with the values co-owner John Mara cherishes. 

Analytics say operating backs break down round age 30, however Barkley nonetheless will solely be 25 years outdated when the 2022 season ends. 

Barkley performs properly and isn’t re-signed 

Saquon Barkley speaks to the media at Giants minicamp.
Saquon Barkley speaks to the media at Giants minicamp.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Submit

How a lot does an important operating again affect profitable? Of the 12 groups paying the best salaries to operating backs in 2021, solely three made the playoffs. Since 2009, the typical wage of the main rusher on the profitable Tremendous Bowl workforce is barely $1.09 million, based on CBS Sports activities. 

The franchise tag ($13 million) could be an possibility, although the Giants may need that safety blanket to maintain quarterback Daniel Jones from free company. And asking Barkley to bypass long-term safety to play on his fifth-year possibility after which a franchise tag in back-to-back years might create the kind of unhealthy blood that has been deftly prevented so far. 

The draw back in letting Barkley go away as a free agent is three-fold: Criticism for not getting something in return for one of many roster’s few property, reliving the 2018 choice to go on quarterback Josh Allen and offensive lineman Quenton Nelson to draft Barkley, and the worry that he fulfills his Corridor of Fame potential elsewhere. 

A real pessimist would possibly say that the Giants allowed Barkley’s success to result in wins and worsen 2023 draft place with none long-term achieve. 

Barkley performs properly however the Giants begin poorly 

Saquon Barkley participates in drills at Giants minicamp.
Saquon Barkley participates in drills at Giants minicamp.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Submit

Given Daniel Jones’ inconsistencies, the undermanned secondary and the reliance on inexperience on each side of the road, Barkley may very well be sensational and the Giants nonetheless might begin 2-6 or 1-7 for the fifth straight season. The Giants are 5-7 when he rushes for 100 yards and 2-5 when he has greater than 70 yards receiving in his profession. 

On this situation, it could grow to be apparent whether or not the Giants’ considering in holding on to Barkley in March was that his worth could be increased earlier than the Nov. 1 commerce deadline than it was within the offseason. The Giants would want to know by then what Barkley’s asking value can be in free company. 

Paying large for operating backs shouldn’t be what Giants common supervisor Joe Schoen was uncovered to in his position as prime lieutenant with the Payments. The Rams traded fourth- and sixth-round picks for a 2021 season of renting Sony Michel earlier than free company — and Michel’s ceiling is nowhere near Barkley’s. 

Barkley performs poorly or isn’t wholesome 

It’s nearly not possible to foresee a situation through which Barkley struggles however the Giants win typically. He’s nonetheless that necessary. 

If he’s no higher than final season — when he rushed for a career-low 3.7 yards per carry — or he provides considerably to the 22 whole video games missed resulting from damage over the past three seasons, then the writing is on the wall for going separate methods. 

However the Giants can have wasted $7.2 million in cap house that might have been dumped in March and perhaps used to salvage cornerback James Bradberry. They’ll don’t have anything however a dreadful five-year document to point out for the No. 2 choose within the 2018 draft.