In a matter of 24 hours, it was reported that 2 of the Giants’ best players, Saquon Barkley and Dexter Lawrence, will not be attending voluntary OTAs next week.

While it is never good news to hear that 2 of your best players are pissed off enough to not report to voluntary OTAs, it will mean very little long-term.  Saquon Barkley will have no choice but to sign his franchise tag tender, and Dexter Lawrence will become a very rich man very soon.  The Giants’ 2 best players on both sides of the ball may not be on the field in April, but they certainly will be come September.

The news of Saquon Barkley holding out of OTAs came as no surprise.  It’s no secret that Barkley wants a long-term deal and was unhappy about getting the franchise tag.  Him not reporting to OTAs is him just letting the Giants know that.  Last week, he joined the rest of the Giants’ offense in Arizona, showing he is still very much committed to this team.  The Giants themselves also want to get a deal done.  They offered Barkley 12.5 million dollars per year during last year’s season, which Barkley turned down.  This came back to bite him in the ass, as the running back market forced the Giants to pull that deal completely, ultimately leading to the franchise tag landing on him.  Even with all that, the Giants want Barkley for the future; they’re just not going to overpay to make that happen.  That, combined with the fact that Barkley not playing this year will lower his value even more, is why he will ultimately end up signing his franchise tender and playing for the Giants this season.

While Barkley holding out was expected, Dexter Lawrence holding out was a bit more surprising.  Lawrence is coming off of a career year where he was both a Pro-Bowler and an All-Pro.  He is just 25 years old and is under contract for 1 more year.  Everyone and their mother knew the Giants were going to sign Sexy Dexy long-term.  It feels as though the contract extensions given to Daron Payne in Washington and Jeffrey Simmons in Tennessee sped this process up.  While paying running backs has become something teams don’t want to do, paying defensive tackles is the exact opposite.  Dex showed how valuable he is for this defense last year, and he will get paid for it.  Dexter Lawrence is holding out for the same reason Saquon is, to send a message:

I want to get paid.

In a perfect world, everyone would be in attendance next week for the Giants’ first week of OTAs.  We do not live in an ideal world.  Football is a business, and Barkley and Lawrence are doing what they have to do to send a message to the Giants.

Contract negotiations are tricky, but I am willing to bet a very large amount of money that both of these guys will be on the field come the fall.

(Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

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