Saquon Barkley won't be properly valued by the Giants

It feels like the New York Giants won't be giving Saquon Barkley appropriate value

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

If you're a running back in today's NFL, chances are business isn't exactly "boomin'". Playing running back in today's NFL is a tough job because you're expected to carry such a heavy load year over year, and as soon as teams determine there's not enough tread left on the tires, you're discarded. The NFL's running back market is currently very team-friendly, to say the least, which is why one simple comment from New York Giants GM Joe Schoen could have major implications for Saquon Barkley.

Schoen was asked at the NFL Scouting Combine whether the value they placed on Barkley would be based on the running back market as a whole or his particular value to their team.

Schoen's reply to this question is extremely telling. Saquon Barkley was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He just turned 27 years old in February, and right now might be the only shot he really gets at signing a long-term deal with maximum guaranteed money from another team. In order for the Giants to franchise tag Barkley, it would cost just over $12 million, meaning Barkley would make almost $24 million between the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

It doesn't seem overly likely that the Giants will tag him, but if he hits the open market, you would expect Barkley to be able to get more than another $12 million in guarantees. He's at the prime age where some team may be willing to give him upwards of $40 million on a three-year contract with at least 50 percent of that guaranteed.

But that's not really the going rate right now for running backs, and that's the game the Giants are looking to play.

If the Giants want to go budget-friendly at the running back position and they're not going to value Barkley based on what he's done for the team (over 7,300 yards from scrimmage and 47 total TDs in his career) then they should do right by the player and let him go.

And Barkley would undoubtedly have suitors lined up to sign him, starting with a team like the Houston Texans, who could be the most aggressive team in NFL free agency.

The Giants need to do what's best for their team as well. Frankly, it's a bit surprising that it's not more of a no-brainer for teams like the Giants to just use that franchise tag again. But the team has come to a crossroads and perhaps they don't want to deal with a potential holdout.

Either way, Schoen's comment about valuing Barkley at the running back market price (low) as opposed to his value to the team (high) is a significant development.