Anyone who read my blog 2 days ago (which very well could be none of you) may think you know the answer to the title of this blog. Well, 2 days can change a lot of things, including my opinion. Two days ago I stated that the franchise tag was, “not an option for me” regarding Saquon Barkley.
Well, now I am here to tell you that is the only option for Saquon Barkley going forward.
Right off the bat I’ll give credit to the Talkin’ Giants podcast. Their discussion on this issue changed my mind. Now, most of what I said in the last blog is true. I don’t want to pay Saquon a long term, big money contract. I also don’t want to use the franchise tag as a placeholder for a future long term deal. What I do want is the Giants and Daniel Jones to have playmakers. The Giants are going into free agency with basically no weapons. Darius Slayton is a free agent and depending on his market, he may very well be gone. Sterling Shepard is also a free agent, and is coming off of yet another season ending injury. The Giants do have Daniel Bellinger, Isaiah Hodgins, and Wan’Dale Robinson, but none of those guys are sure things as playmakers. Saquon Barkley was the Giants best weapon last year, and going into the free agency and draft, the Giants need a player his caliber.
Replacing the running back position is doable. Replacing the talent of Saquon Barkley is not. The Giants unfortunately do not have a player Barkleys caliber on this offense. I’m sure Joe Schoen and the front office is going to be looking for playmakers in the draft and free agency, but having the assurance of Barkley would be huge for this team. The only way I would sign Barkley long term is if he accepts something around a 3 year deal with an average annual salary of 10 million dollars. Barkley already reportedly turned down a deal with an annual average salary of 12.5 million so I doubt he would take less money. That leaves the franchise tag as the only option for him to come back.
I don’t love the idea of a 1 year contract eating up 10 million dollars of our cap space, but I think it is necessary for the 2023 Giants offense. Barkley has done nothing but represent this franchise with class since he showed up almost 5 years ago. I unfortunately don’t think the Giants should give him the money he is looking for, but I do think they should bring him back for 1 more year.
It’s a big debate among fans if the Giants should sign Barkley long term, but to me, the only option to bring Barkley back in blue is likely the franchise tag.
(Rich Schultz/Associated Press)