Saquon Barkley AND giants may have failed to agree to a long-term contract before Monday’s deadline to extend players under the franchise tag, but the returning star isn’t done thinking about how he can regain leverage.
Appearing in The Money Matters Podcaston YouTube, Barkley floated the idea of refusing to suit up alongside his New York teammates to start the season, even suggesting he might go as far as not playing at all in a move to show the Giants how he feels valuable to her. the team.
“My leverage is I can say, ‘f— you’ to the Giants, I can say, ‘f— you to my teammates,'” Barkley said Monday on the podcast. “And be like, ‘Do you want me to show you my worth? Want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I will not show up. I will not play one down.’ And this is a show I can use.”
Barkley’s suggestion mirrors the move made by former All-Pro quarterback Le’Veon Bell when he sat out the entire 2018 season after failing to get an extension from the Steelers. Bell eventually signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets in free agency the following spring, but he never returned to the same elite form displayed during his time in Pittsburgh.
Although Barkley indicated how he could hypothetically take the same approach as Bell, he made it clear that he is not eager to sit back and not contribute to the Giants’ success in 2023. He explained that he would like to talk to the family and the team his advisors before taking such a drastic decision.
“Anyone [who] you know me, I know that’s not something I want to do,” Barkley continued. “Is it something that crossed my mind? I never thought I’d ever do this, but now I’m at a point where I’m like, ‘Jesus, I might have to take it to this level.’ Am I ready to take it to this level? I do not know. This is something I have to sit down and talk with my family, talk with my team [of advisers] and the strategy for this. I can’t just walk away from the emotions. I can try to get as much money as possible, but what really matters is winning. I know if I’m able to help bring a championship to New York, that will go miles ahead of this contract.”
Barkley, 26, will make just over $10 million if he signs the franchise tag and opts to play in 2023. The former No. 1,650 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns as the key to an offense that helped New York to a 9-7-1 record and a playoff berth.
The Giants are chasing a trip to the postseason in 2023, but have less than two months until they open the season against the Cowboys, at which point Barkley will have to make a decision: suit up or stay.