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The New York Giants and running back Saquon Barkley have come to terms on a one year deal worth up to $11 million. The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and it’s an increase over the $10.1 million he would’ve made under the franchise tag.
Barkley led the Giants with 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last season. His production led to the Giants finishing in the top four in the NFL in both categories. He was also tied for the team lead in receptions with 57.
Barkley can now avoid a lengthy holdout and the two sides can revisit a long term deal after the season is over. The question is was it the right deal, or better yet was it the best deal he could get?
Barkley was reportedly seeking a deal in the $16 million a year range. Christian McCaffrey’s (San Fransisco 49ers) average annual salary is at $16 millon and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) makes $15 million. Those two players have similar production to Barkley in both the rushing and passing games for their respective franchises.
The Giants reportedly offered Barkley a long term deal with $19.5 million in guaranteed money. Barkley would make about $22 million in guarantees if he played under the franchise tag for the next two seasons. So why the sudden change of heart?
Barkley took to social media numerous times to air out his grievances with threats of a hold out, but took a seemingly team friendly deal. Barkley couldn’t afford to let week one of the season come without a deal which would result in him losing money instead of making it.
This is the plight of all running backs in the league: they have very little (realistically no) leverage. Of course Barkley had to take care of himself, but his fellow backs around the league might frown upon such a deal. Will this start a chain reaction with other teams and their top rushers?
Barkley must really believe he and the Giants will come to a better deal in the future. He and his agent have avoided a catastrophe, making the Giants and their fans very happy heading into the season, but is he really happy today? I say good luck to both parties, because this saga will probably resume around this time next year.