Saquon Barkley
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Would Saquon Barkley Really Sit Out the 2023 Season?

Saquon Barkley is not happy about his current contract situation with the New York Giants. This is something we already knew but now Barkley is becoming more vocal about it. Barkley has yet to sign his $10.1 million dollar franchise tag and is in line to miss the Giants mandatory mini-camp. While speaking with reporters at his youth football camp, Barkley didn’t rule out the possibility of sitting out the 2023 season. While this situation is not likely to come to that it’s still alarming for him to admit.

The Giants had a difficult decision to make this offseason. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley were both in line for a new contract but they couldn’t afford to sign both to mega deals. They decided to pay their young quarterback instead of Barkley and signed him to a 4-year $160 million dollar deal. While you can argue if that was the right move or not the Giants knew one of their stars would not be happy. Now they must deal with the fallout from that situation and find a resolution with Barkley.

The Le’Veon Bell Effect

Sitting out an entire NFL season is not unprecedented. In 2018, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell sat out the entire season when he refused to sign his 2nd franchise tag. It was a gamble by Bell that ended up working in his favor. The following year Bell signed a 4-year $52.5 million dollar contract with the New York Jets. This made Bell the 2nd highest-paid running back at the time. Although Bell made his money, he wasn’t the same player we saw in Pittsburgh and never could replicate that success.

Standing His Ground

Saquon Barkley and the Giants have until July 17th to come to terms on a new deal. If they can’t, Barkley will either have to play the year under the franchise tag or not play at all. Barkley has stated all along he is not looking to be the top paid running back in the NFL. He just wants a respectable contract that pays him what he’s worth. At 26, Barkley is still in his prime and has shown he can be a difference-maker on the field. He finished his 2022-23 campaign with 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Most importantly he didn’t miss any games due to injury.

When the season opens in the Fall, I expect Saquon Barkley to be on the field. In order for that to happen the Giants must budge and up their contract offer. There are rumors that Barkley turned down a $14 million per year contract offer from the Giants. Will Barkley accept if they up the offer to $15 million per year? Possibly, but the Giants may wait and call Barkley’s bluff.

Written by
Justin Fuhr

Justin is the Owner of Pro Football Mania. He is an NFL and fantasy football fanatic who enjoys analyzing data and analytics in sports.

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