Nov 28, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs express outrage at lack of contract action

Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry weren’t shy about voicing their displeasure after fellow running backs Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard were unable to reach multi-year contracts ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

Barkley, Jacobs and Pollard are in line to play under the $10.091 million tag this season, provided the first two sign the tender.

While Barkley tweeted “It is what it is” on Monday, Taylor had a much longer response in regard to the situation surrounding the New York Giants running back.

“1. If you’re good enough, they’ll find you. 2. If you work hard enough, you’ll succeed,” the Colts running back wrote on Twitter. “…If you succeed … 3. You boost the Organization …and then… Doesn’t matter, you’re a RB.”

Henry, a two-time rushing champion for the Tennessee Titans, took an even strong stance.

“At this point, just take the RB position out the game then,” he tweeted. “The ones that want to be great & work as hard as they can to give their all to an organization, just seems like it don’t even matter. I’m with every RB that’s fighting to get what they deserve.”

San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, who is the NFL’s highest-paid running back at $16 million per season, labeled the situation as “criminal.”

Pittsburgh Steelers standout Najee Harris said in part that the “notion that we deserve less is a joke.”

Barkley, 26, was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after a dynamic career at Penn State. He posted a career-high 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 16 games (all starts) last season while playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

The Giants’ current regime of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll did not draft Barkley, but he appeared to be part of their long-term plans. Reports indicated that the sides were negotiating a long-term deal up until the deadline.

The Las Vegas Raiders did not pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ rookie contract a year ago.

Jacobs, 25, responded by putting up 1,653 rushing yards on 340 touches (4.9 per attempt) and 12 touchdowns while starting all 17 games. He added 400 receiving yards in order to lead the league with 2,053 total yards from scrimmage. He was a first-team All-Pro and received his second Pro Bowl nod.

The Dallas Cowboys’ running game will go through Pollard, who is taking over RB1 from the released Ezekiel Elliott. Pollard took part in offseason activities as he recovered from ankle surgery, and he is expected to be ready to go when training camp opens July 26.

Pollard, 26, was selected to his first Pro Bowl after last season, in which he ran for a career-high 1,007 yards. He added 39 receptions for 371 yards, and he scored a combined 12 touchdowns in 16 games (four starts).

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Saquon Barkley: ‘It is what it is’ after Giants, RB miss deal deadline

Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants did not come to an agreement on a long-term contract by Monday afternoon’s deadline, several reports said.

Barkley chimed in on Twitter minutes before the 4 p.m. ET deadline, simply writing, “It is what it is.”

The running back received the franchise tag for the 2023 season and has not signed the $10.09 million tender, meaning he can hold out from training camp as long as he chooses without penalty.

Barkley, 26, was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after a dynamic career at Penn State. He posted a career-high 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 16 games (all starts) last season while playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

The Giants’ current regime of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll did not draft Barkley, but he appeared to be part of their long-term plans. Reports indicated that the sides were negotiating a long-term deal up until the deadline.

But the front office continued a leaguewide trend of not readily handing out big contracts to running backs. Barkley, Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders and Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys all failed to receive a long-term extension by Monday’s deadline. Pollard has signed his tender, while Jacobs has not.

Along with tagging Barkley, New York gave quarterback Daniel Jones a four-year, $160 million contract extension with $82 million fully guaranteed in March.

In 60 games (all starts) across five seasons, Barkley has gained 4,249 yards on the ground (4.5 per attempt) with 29 rushing touchdowns. He also has caught 247 passes for 1,820 yards and eight touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: New deal unlikely for Giants RB Saquon Barkley

With no progress in negotiations, there is little optimism for a long-term contract between the New York Giants and running back Saquon Barkley before Monday’s deadline.

According to multiple reports, Barkley isn’t near a new deal as the cutoff for NFL teams who applied the franchise tag arrives and no tangible progress was made in negotiations.

Barkley reportedly turned down offers based on an average salary of $12.5 million per season and hasn’t signed the franchise tag. That leaves open the possibility he could hold out into the season or not play in 2023.

Barkley has 4,249 rushing yards, 1,820 receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns over five seasons since being drafted No. 2 overall by the Giants in 2018.

He said last month while staying away from mandatory minicamp that the idea of skipping the season “comes up in conversation if something doesn’t get done” by the deadline on Monday.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about respect,” Barkley said. “That is really what it is.”

Barkley, 26, reportedly is seeking a contract that would pay him closer to $16 million per season, on par with 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.

Matt Breida and 2023 fifth-round pick Eric Gray are listed as the backups to Barkley on the Giants’ depth chart.

–Field Level Media

Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks for room to run against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Giants RB Saquon Barkley not signing franchise tender

If the Giants insist on playing tag with running back Saquon Barkley, New York might first need to survive a round of hide-and-seek.

Given the franchise tag before free agency, Barkley will not report to offseason workouts or sign his one-year franchise tender while holding out for a long-term contract with the team, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Barkley said he prefers a long-term deal and did not want to be given the franchise tag. The Giants took the decision down to the wire while working to sign quarterback Daniel Jones to a new contract.

Barkley and the Giants have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal. Barring a new contract, Barkley would make $10.091 million in 2023 under the terms of the one-year franchise tender.

ESPN reported Barkley informed the team he was looking for around $14 million per season. He rejected an offer in November that was reportedly worth around $12 million per season.

Barkley, 26, finished fourth in the NFL in rushing in 2022 and was a finalist for Comeback Player of the Year.

–Field Level Media

Dec 18, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) and Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrate while leaving the field after their game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Giants believe they can retain both Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants remain hopeful they can reach long-term agreements with both quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley this offseason.

Both players are slated to become free agents with the franchise tag possibly being utilized on one of them.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen said Tuesday that he was “cautiously optimistic” the team would get deals done with both Jones and Barkley.

Schoen reiterated that Jones will be on the 2023 roster. What isn’t clear is whether the team can reach a long-term deal with Jones or will use the franchise tag by the March 7 deadline.

Last April, the Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option worth $22.3 million for 2023.

Then Jones enjoyed the best season of his four-year career by throwing just five interceptions and leading the Giants to the postseason. He passed for 15 touchdowns and set career highs for yardage (3,205), completion percentage (67.2), rushing yardage (708) and rushing scores (seven).

Jones is reportedly seeking a deal worth at least $45 million per season. Schoen didn’t have much to say about that report.

“I’m not going to get into that,” Schoen said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “I don’t want to get any divide on that stuff. We’re going to keep the negotiations between the two parties, and I think it’s best to do it that way.”

If the Giants use the franchise tag on Jones, his pay would be $32.4 million in 2023.

Meanwhile, Barkley played for $7.2 million in his fifth-year option last season and is looking for a sizable raise as part of a long-term deal.

Barkley rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards and added 10 rushing touchdowns last season after battling injuries the previous two seasons. He reportedly previously turned down a deal worth over $12 million annually.

Schoen feels the two sides have narrowed the difference in recent negotiations.

“We haven’t totally bridged (the difference). We’re a little bit closer,” Schoen said. “There’s still a gap. (Otherwise) would’ve done it. We’ll still work through that.”

The franchise tag for running backs is $10.09 million.

–Field Level Media

Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones of the Giants in the second half. The Houston Texans at the New York Giants in a game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on November 13, 2022.

The Houston Texans Face The New York Giants In A Game Played At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On November 13 2022

Giants GM wants QB, top RB back in 2023

Quarterback Daniel Jones could have been under contract with the New York Giants for 2023, but general manager Joe Schoen declined a fifth-year option that sets the stage for contract talks next month.

“We’re happy Daniel’s gonna be here,” Schoen said Monday. “Hopefully, we can get something done with his representatives, and that would be the goal: to build the team around him where he could lead us to win a Super Bowl.”

Jones would have made $22.4 million in 2023 on his fifth-year option, available as a player-retention tool for NFL teams only with first-round picks. Jones was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft and is in line for a massive raise based on market value of starting quarterbacks rising like waterfront real estate.

Jones posted career-highs in completion percentage (67.2) and passing yards (3,205), with a 15-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Jones also rushed for 708 yards and seven touchdowns.

Head coach Brian Daboll said Monday that Jones has “done everything we’ve asked him to do” this season. Jones said Sunday he’d “love to be here,” but “there’s a business side.”

Schoen and Daboll inherited Jones — drafted by the previous management regime led by GM Dave Gettleman — and running back Saquon Barkley, who is headed for free agency.

Barkley said after the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional playoffs on Saturday night that he can’t imagine it was his last time in the team’s uniform. Barkley and the team did discuss a contract extension during the 2022 season but Schoen said Monday that the two sides “weren’t really that close.”

The No. 2 overall pick in 2018, Barkley set career-highs in rushing categories with 295 carries for 1,312 yards — both fourth in the NFL — and scored 10 touchdowns. He also caught 38 passes. Barkley played the 2022 season on his fifth-year option, playing in 16 regular-season games for the first time since his rookie season.

“We’re less than 48 hours after that game, so everybody is going to step back, take the emotion out of it,” Schoen said. “Evaluate the roster and then again, we got to operate under a salary cap. How are we going to divvy up? How we’re going to create the roster. What other priority positions and how we are going to move forward. We would like to have Saquon back if it works out.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) hands the ball off to running back Saquon Barkley (26) during the first half of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Giants to discuss Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley extensions

The New York Giants will discuss contract extensions for Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley during their bye week.

“We’ll have those meetings this week,” general manager Joe Schoen confirmed Tuesday.

The Giants (6-2) had their four-game winning streak snapped with Sunday’s 27-13 loss at Seattle, but have already matched their highest season win total since going 11-5 in 2016.

Jones, 25, was a first-round pick (sixth overall) in 2019 and has completed 63.1 percent of his passes this season for 1,399 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions in eight starts.

Barkley, 25, was a first-rounder (second overall) in 2018 and currently is second in the NFL with 779 rushing yards. He has five rushing touchdowns and 28 catches for 189 yards in eight games.

“We’ll kind of circle up with some strategy meetings as we move forward on contract extensions and if we may or may not do anybody,” Schoen said. “If I did, this would be the week. I would want to entertain it during the bye week, and then I probably won’t do anything after that. I don’t want anything to be a distraction to the players or organization. So, if we do something, it would be probably before Monday with any of our guys.”

Jones is playing in the final season of his four-year, $25.6 million rookie contract after the Giants declined their fifth-year option in April. Barkley is playing on his fifth-year option this season for $7.2 million.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Barkley (14) walks out with offensive linemen before the game against the Chicago Bears at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers waive journeyman QB Matt Barkley

The Carolina Panthers waived veteran quarterback Matt Barkley on Tuesday.

The move comes one day after Carolina removed Barkley from the COVID-19 list.

But the Panthers no longer had a need for Barkley with QB Sam Darnold back from a shoulder injury and Cam Newton and P.J. Walker also on the roster.

Carolina signed Barkley off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad last month, but he didn’t see any game action.

Barkley, 31, has appeared in 19 games for the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-14), Chicago Bears (2016) and Buffalo Bills (2018-20), mostly in a backup capacity. He made six of his seven career starts for the Bears in 2016.

Barkley owns a 58.4 career completion percentage and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-to-2 (11 touchdowns, 22 picks).

The Panthers (5-10) have lost five straight games entering Sunday’s game at the New Orleans Saints.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks on before the game against New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Giants RB Saquon Barkley, WR Kenny Golladay out vs. Chiefs

The New York Giants officially ruled out running back Saquon Barkley, receiver Kenny Golladay and three others for Monday night’s game at Kansas City.

Barkley (ankle), Golladay (knee), linebackers Lorenzo Carter (ankle) and Carter Coughlin (ankle) and defensive back Nate Ebner (ankle) will not be in action for the Giants (2-5) against the Chiefs (3-4).

Wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) and tight end Kaden Smith (knee) are all listed as questionable.

Barkley and Golladay haven’t played since Week 5. Barkley, 24, has rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 130 yards and one score in five starts this season.

Golladay, 27, has 17 receptions for 282 yards and no touchdowns in five starts.

Carter, 25, has 20 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in seven starts.

Coughlin, 24, plays primarily on special teams and has six tackles in seven games.

Ebner, 32, has only played on special teams this season and has two tackles in six games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks on before the game against New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Giants RB Saquon Barkley, two WRs ruled out vs. Panthers

New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the visiting Carolina Panthers.

Barkley (ankle) and Golladay (knee) will both miss a second straight game with their respective injuries. Toney, who leads the team with 317 receiving yards, aggravated an ankle injury in New York’s 38-11 setback to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday.

Wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and John Ross are questionable with hamstring injuries, while tight end Evan Engram also received that designation as he deals with an ailing calf.

Shepard was able to play last week against the Rams and finished with 10 catches for 76 yards. Slayton did not play last week, while Ross was held without a catch and Engram had just three receptions for 24 yards.

The injury-riddled Giants (1-5) will look for more production from Devontae Booker, who paced the ground attack with 12 carries for 41 yards last week.

–Field Level Media