To the surprise of many, the relationship between Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants front office has gotten ugly and hostile.
As everyone knows, the two sides were not able to reach an agreement on a contract in time for Monday’s franchise-tag deadline – meaning Barkley is now stuck having to play on the one-year, $10.1 million tag.
But will he???
Shockingly, Barkley admitted on “The Money Matters” podcast that he’s actually considering sitting out rather than playing under the franchise-tag which he considers insulting.
He believes that he possesses considerable leverage in this situation, and although he doesn’t wish to take such extreme measures, he hinted at the possibility of sitting out games to prove his worth to the team.
“My leverage is I could say, ‘F–k you’ to the Giants, I could say, ‘F–k you to my teammates,’” he stated. “And be like, ‘You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down.’ And that’s a play I could use.’”
“Anybody [who] knows me, knows that’s not something I want to do. Is it something that’s crossed my mind? I never thought I would ever do that, but now I’m at a point where I’m like, ‘Jesus, I might have to take it to this level.’ Am I prepared to take it to this level? I don’t know.”
Update: Saquon Barkley explains his leverage on the #Giants – 'F**k You'
"My leverage is I could say, 'F–k you' to the Giants, I could say, 'F–k you to my teammates,'"
"And be like, 'You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I… pic.twitter.com/py0VB9fdpO
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 19, 2023
He emphasized that he needs to consult with his family and team of advisers to strategize the best course of action. Barkley also stressed that his primary goal is not just maximizing his earnings but winning a championship for New York.
Despite the potential consequences of sitting out, such as creating panic among fans and added pressure on the team, Barkley and the Giants can’t revisit long-term contract negotiations until after the season.
He believes he is the best running back in the NFL and expressed that he is not asking for more than he’s worth.
Barkley had previously turned down an offer of $13 million per year, including $19.5 million guaranteed, as he stood firm on his desire for a $22.5 million guaranteed deal. He felt disrespected by the comparisons made by the Giants and believed he deserved a higher annual average due to his versatility and contribution to the team’s offense.
General Manager Joe Schoen had emphasized that the negotiation was not personal but a business decision. Barkley acknowledged that he has to take a more mature approach to the situation and do what’s right for him.
Schoen has a job to do and won’t be overpaying for Barkley. He has his hands full trying to rebuild Big Blue and investing too much money in a running back, albeit a great one, would be dumb and reckless.
Unfortunately for Barkley, he’s going to have to realize that he’s not going to be paid what he’s looking for. The two sides were reportedly only $2 million apart. If Barkley wishes to remain in New York, he’s going to have to check his ego at the door and understand the situation.
Running backs will never be paid anywhere near the amount of positions such as quarterback, offensive tackle and pass rusher.. That’s the way it is. Plain and simple.
Do you think Barkley will actually pull a Le’Veon Bell and sit-out games – even if not for the entire season?
Or is he merely talking tough and trying to gain leverage?
How much money do you feel Barkley is worth?
Even if he signs his franchise-tag, do you think the relationship between Barkley and the Giants is fractured enough where he’ll leave after the season?