New York Giants disrespect Saquon Barkley by using the franchise tag

NFL Picks, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley - Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Picks, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley - Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFC East is one of the toughest divisions in football. Franchises internalize rivalries, creating an onslaught on Sunday afternoons. Nick Sirianni and the Philadelphia Eagles survived a grueling 2022 season. They relied on X-Factors to make big plays in crucial moments. Brian Daboll and the New York Giants also relied heavily on their playmakers for success on the field. Saquon Barkley had a remarkable year, proving he is still a top rusher in the NFL.

New York Giants benefitted from Saquon Barkley’s comeback season

An impressive stat line last season only told half of Saquon Barkley’s story. He’s worked hard to establish himself as an elite runner.

In 2020, Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 against the Bears. His season was over, and the Giants had to find a new identity on offense. New York finished with a 6-10 record. Fortunately, their division rivals shared similar struggles. They ranked second in divisional standings, remaining hungry for the next season.

It took more than a year for Barkley to return to gridiron. When he did, it was convincing in fashion. His Week 1 performance against the Titans reminded fans of how dominant he can be. Barkley recorded 164 yards and a touchdown in a 21-20 win on the road.

Mike Kafka’s offense continued to show glimpses of greatness as the season continued. They fed their leading rusher resulting in more wins. Barkley finished the 2022 season ranked fourth in total rushing yards (1,312) and ninth in rushing touchdowns (10). The Giants earned a 9-7-1 record and clinched the fifth seed in the NFC Conference playoff bracket.

New York Giants place Non-extensive tag on Saquon Barkley

The Giants did not reach the Super Bowl last season, but they have the pieces to form a contending team. Barkley’s outstanding performance after a season-ending injury should’ve convinced fans straddling the fence. It was clear that he was the best player on the offense. When his team needed a big play, he responded without question.

Contract negotiations between Barkley and New York’s front office may become a concern for Giants fans. In 2018, the franchise drafted their superstar running back and then offered him a four-year $31.19 million contract. When it became time to renew the contract, New York exercised a $7.2 million player option on Barkley’s rookie deal. The decision worked out in New York’s favor. It bought the franchise time to see if Barkley could still produce big numbers after a season-ending injury. He did, and now it’s time to pay the man his worth.

The Giants understand that Saquon Barkley is the X-factor in their developing offense. On March 8, the Giants announced the decision to place a non-exclusive franchise tag on Barkley. The tag allows Saquon to talk to other teams willing to negotiate a favorable deal. If a franchise makes an offer, the Giants can match or counter offer, without losing their best player.

I believe Saquon Barkley deserves a new contract. His dedication during his rehabilitation allowed him to rejoin his teammates in incredible shape. He led an uncertain Giants team to a playoff berth and deserves recognition for his hard work. If the Giants refuse to pay their premier rusher, they could lose him to a team that values his talent.