Saquon Barkley On Signing With Giants: ‘I Had An Epiphany’

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was unhappy with the organization after the July 17 deadline passed for franchise-tagged players to reach long-term deals with their teams. Saquon contemplated sitting out games to assert his leverage. However, Barkley had an “epiphany” and signed a one-year deal with the Giants on July 25.

Saquon Barkley Had A Change of Heart

Barkley, who met on a Zoom call with other NFL running backs to discuss their devalued market, was “disappointed” that he could not get a long-term deal done before the season. Barkley understands the NFL is a business and that “deals don’t get done every year.” However, the 26-year-old had a change of heart and signed an adjusted franchise tag of $10.09 million with nearly $1 million in incentives and a $2 million signing bonus.

“Specific to my position, we didn’t get a deal done,” Barkley told reporters on Thursday (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “Me and my team felt we were in good faith trying to get a deal done. The Giants felt they were in good faith trying to get a deal done. That’s life. Sometimes you don’t come to an agreement. I had to come to a decision and, like I said, I had an epiphany. I had a mindset of what I was going to do. I changed my mind.”

Raanan reported that one of the final offers the Giants presented Barkley was a deal of at least $22.5 million guaranteed. That’s approximately worth the value of the franchise tags for the next two seasons since the Giants could tag Barkley in 2024. Ultimately, Barkley turned down the deal.

“If I felt like it was something that was respectable, I would have took it,” Barkley said. “I looked at my mom, my dad, looked at my team, my family and I didn’t agree with it. So I didn’t take it. If I felt like it was [respectable], I would have.”

Saquon Barkley Will Play The 2023 Season

Barkley is currently at the Giants’ training camp. However, the star running back considered skipping training camp along with multiple regular season games.

Barkley said, “I’ll be completely honest, if I sat out this year and, say, the New York Football Giants, we didn’t have a good record, do you think that is going to make another team in free agency or the Giants want to have me come back the next year after I sat out the whole year and be like, ‘Oh, we want to give you $15 million a year now?’ I don’t think that’s how it’s going to work.”

The Giants open the season at home against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football on September 10.

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