It now truly feels like the NFL offseason. The NFL news cycle is full of rumors regarding trades and free agents. Two of the NFL’s biggest storylines right now are in relation to two Giants: Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Rumors are flying about the amount of money each player wants and if the Giants have any interest in bringing them back. I don’t think these two contracts are all that confusing, so here is how the Giants should handle the Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley situations.
I wrote last week about how the Giants number 1 offseason priority should be signing Daniel Jones to a long term deal. I still believe that, even with the rumor that Daniel Jones will be seeking a contract of 45 million dollars per year. Yes, Daniel Jones did change agents and news flash: he is going to be seeking the most amount of money that he can. Now, the Giants should not, nor do I think they will, pay Jones 45 million dollars per season. Paying Jones 45 million dollars per year would tie him with Patrick Mahomes with the 5th highest contract on a per year basis. Before you start screaming about how Jones is no where near the talent Mahomes is, Mahomes signed that over 10 years. Jones isn’t getting anywhere near a 10 year deal. The maximum amount of years Jones will get is 5 years, which is what I personally want him to get. What the Giants want to do is a different story. Maybe Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll don’t want to fully hitch their wagon to Jones and only want to do a 3 year deal or some sort of deal where they have an out. Either way the Giants are going to have to pay up for Jones. Anything less than 40 million dollars a year I think is very good value. That would put Jones right around the 9th highest paid Quarterback on a per year basis. To me, the max the Giants should give Jones is 42 million dollars. Yes that is a lot, and would make him the 7th highest paid QB. That is this year though. Guys like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence will be due for deals in coming years, not to mention QB’s that are under contract that might want to renegotiate. Paying up for a Quarterback is tough, but it is something that has to be done. The Giants also have the franchise tag at their disposal if Jones takes a hard stance. That is worth 32 million dollars, and is something that no one should want due to the cap ramifications this season. Jones will be a Giant in 2023, hopefully its on a long term deal.
Saquon Barkley is a much more complicated situation. He has been a complicated case. Last year, I said I would take a 3rd round pick for Barkley before the season. Barkley ended up having a great season, but the reason I said I would take the 3rd is still valid. It’s because I was not going to sign Barkley long term to a big money contract. The Giants and Saquon’s camp were apparently very far off in negotiations during the season. The Giants reportedly offered Barkley 12.5 million dollars per year and he declined. The Giants should not go over that number, and even that makes me uncomfortable. Barkley is a great back, and he helped carry us for the first half of the season. But then defenses started shutting the run down, and Barkley himself when through a bit of a tough stretch. It was once the Giants started letting Jones throw more where it felt like the offense really opened up. But with the injury history, the stretches where Barkley hasn’t looked great, and the position he plays, it makes it tough to pay Barkley. The recent history of the NFL has shown that paying running backs hasn’t worked, and running back is also a replaceable position. I’m not saying were gonna just find another Saquon Barkley, but we can find a productive running back. The Giants have the franchise tag at their disposal for Barkley as well, which sits at 10 million dollars. This is not an option for me, because there is no way that I am going to pay Barkley anymore next year than what I’m willing to pay him this year. I am a big Saquon Barkley fan. I where his jersey every Sunday. With that being said, if he wasn’t willing to take a 12.5 million dollar per year deal (which is high), then it might be time to say goodbye.
The NFL is a tough business. In a perfect world, I would love to see both Jones and Barkley back in Blue. That very well may happen, but I do not think the Giants should be paying big money for Barkley. Yes, he is better at his position then Jones is at his. The difference is that finding a QB is very hard, while finding a running back isn’t.
Hopefully Barkley and Jones are back on reasonable deals, but it shouldn’t be a hard business decision on which one to say goodbye too.