The New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley both want the same thing — they both want Barkley in Giant blue for the rest of his career.
The issue is, the negotiations on a long-term contract broke off a few weeks ago and Barkley is currently set to play under the franchise tag tender of $10.1 million.
“There’s no outstanding offer right now,” general manager Joe Schoen told reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona on Monday.
“Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew that throughout the negotiation that if there was a time that we can’t come to an agreement, we’re going to go to the franchise tag. And that’s what we did.”
Co-owner John Mara, who has not stepped on Schoen’s toes since Schoen took over as GM over a year ago, stepped in to clarify what he envisions happening in the Barkley situation.
“My dream is that he plays his whole career as a Giant like Eli (Manning) did, like (Michael) Strahan did, like Tiki (Barber) did,” Mara said on Monday. “I mentioned to him, ‘Look what they’re doing off the field now.’ I think he would like that as well…We’d love to have him. He provides leadership. He’s a great player. We’d like to get something done with him at some point.”
The market for running backs has cratered a bit since free agency began. Barkley is actually a tad bit overpaid at $10.1 million. His value, should he hit the market now, would be around $6-7 million per season.
“You certainly are aware of that, but he adds a lot to our team…he is somebody that we want back. But there is a limit as to what we can do,” said Mara. “I don’t think he’s thrilled about being tagged. But he’s a professional. He understands the business.”
The Giants don’t appear to be in a hurry to get Barkley settled. Schoen has put the affair on the back burner and begun working on filling out his roster with a slew of free agent signings. He is almost done with that, though.
“Saquon knows how I think about him,” Schoen said.
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