With Daniel Jones likely getting tagged, Saquon Barkley could be headed to open market

NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
Getty Images

With Giants quarterback Daniel Jones changing agents in an effort to change the terms the team is offering, he’s now on track for the franchise tag.

The big winner in that move could be running back Saquon Barkley.

The Giants, like all teams, have one tag to use each year. The thinking was that the Giants would sign Jones to a long-term deal and then tag Barkley, if they can’t work out a deal with him, too.

Now, the focus will likely shift to getting Barkley signed.

The rampant tampering at the Scouting Combine will help the effort. Barkley will know what it, and isn’t, out there before making a final decision on whatever the Giants offer. Which would result in Barkley potentially re-signing before the two-day negotiating window opens, or maybe during it.

Or maybe he leaves. Which would make it harder for Jones to duplicate his performance in 2022, given that Barkley had a very strong season, forcing defenses to focus a little more on him — and a little less on Jones.

It’s unclear what the market for Barkley would be. He has five years of NFL wear and tear, and he plays a position that results in plenty of impacts that can result in plenty of injuries. A long-term investment would come with enhanced risk for the team that provides it.

If tagged, Barkley would receive a one-year, $10.091 million tender. That will only happen at this point if Jones and the Giants can work out a long-term contract. Which now seems unlikely given that negotiations to date have prompted Jones to fire his agents and hire new ones.

55 responses to “With Daniel Jones likely getting tagged, Saquon Barkley could be headed to open market

  1. Barkley has had an uneven, and injury plagued career. 2 strong seasons, one ok season, and 2 poor seasons. Even in his last season he had 900 yards rushing through week 10 and 300 after due to a shoulder injury. And actually Jokes stepped up towards the end of the season.

    Not sure what the market is for him, but 3 years is too risky. I’d like the giants to resign, but would rather let him walk then get tied up by a cap busting contract when he gets injured

  2. Giants have 3 problems: 1. Barkley wants $16M/year. I don’t think anyone should do that for a RB that has had an up and down career. 2. How do you judge Daniel Jones when he hasn’t had any top WRs. I could go either way and justify with evidence. 3. As good as last year was, they are still a team in transition with a lot of holes to fill. Giant fans shouldn’t increase expectations just yet.

    But, at least they still have salary cap space to work with. The true test for Shein and Daboll begins now.

  3. Barkley not worth it. Draft a good running back in the 3rd round. Running backs are like cars. Depreciate every year. Dumb move to pay this guy.

  4. Hoping the Giants give Danny a contract like Dak’s. Please, go ahead and handcuff your team with a salary cap anchor like that.

  5. I asked Alexa where Barkley would play next year. She said he “signed” a 1 year deal with the Bengals in ‘2024’. Take it for what it’s worth, they’ve predicted SB winners before successfully.

  6. Probably the smartest move they made was not to make Barkley one of the richest RBs in the league. Any team willing to give him what he wants will be a bottom feeder and likely to remain there as cap money is best spent elsewhere.

    I still question the tag on Jones but they’ve backed themselves into a corner with no other QB options available. They should draft his replacement.

  7. Not unexpected. Its for the best that he moves on and finds the right team for his skills. Will have to accept less up front but with an incentive loaded contract will do just fine.

  8. Both Jones and Barkley sound like fools. Neither one is elite talent. Jones because of his performance … Barkley because of his injury history and positional worth. Good luck to any team that invests long term cap dollars in either.

  9. I’d let Barkley test the market. Let some other team take the risk. His careee has been uneven to say the least.

  10. Are we still taking about paying running backs second contracts when you can draft one on the cheap?

  11. If you are going to have to pay DJones 35M, let him walk. Pay DCarr that (or less) and tag Barkley.

  12. Chicago Bears should give him a front loaded, $14 million per year contract. Imagine Fields and Barkley running the read option.

  13. Giants would be smart to move-on from both players. Should have traded Barkley when they had a chance – for draft capital. And they should play chicken with Jones. There is absolutely no market for him. What team, needing a top-level QB, would sign that guy? He’s a check-down artist who possesses no above-average skills at the position. But fawning by the NY (which means “national”) media has duped fans (and, apparently Jones himself) into thinking he’s a legit starter as team can win big with.

    It’s this type of thinking that’s kept the Giants at the bottom of the league for the past decade.

  14. This guy still has a big name, but does he deserve it? His most prominent ability is his unavailability.

  15. The best outcome for both team and player will be for him to sign a massive contract with a contender. He needs to be on a team where he’s not the focal point of the offence (see CMC) and is looking for that last piece to put them over the top. The high payout could net the Giants a 4th or 3rd round compensation pick depending on the rest of their free agency period. Tagging Jones to see how he plays when it’s not against low quality opponents like last year gives the team some space to operate. It’s a solid plan.

  16. The most sensible thing the Giants can do: Let the 2 go. Write 7n RB in the 2nd or 3rd round. sign a Veteran QB. Keep building the roster and in a year or 2 draft a QB if the option they will see doesn’t work as you expect. Stock the list and you accumulate money under the cap.

  17. Sorry Saquon. I’m a Giants fan but it’s just not smart to pay top of the market money to an injury prone running back passed his prime. Good luck to you.

  18. If I’m Saquon, I go to a contender with an elite QB who needs a running back. Exhibit A – The Buffalo Bills.

  19. The highs of last years regular season are now met with the nightmare off season decisions everyone knew were looming.

    There is no correct answer for them. Paying a lot to be above average or starting over are both very nauseating options.

    This team should’ve made the deal for Calvin Ridley before Jacksonville.

    If they keep Jones and Barkley for the season, I’d continue to build the OL and DL, regardless of how badly they need WRs.

    They have done well with lineman on both sides so dominating the trenches could be their strongest path towards actually competing.

    If there is one player that could add another dimension to their offense at 25, it’s the Notre Dame TE, Michael Mayer. More likely than not he gets picked before that though. Same with Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

  20. If the Giants are willing to pay 12, they’ll pay 14. You don’t walk over 2M. This deal should get done if years are agreed upon.

  21. I don’t think Jones’ success had anything to do with Barkley. Barkley and the Giants never scared any defense, even though he’s a great player. It’s not a RB league. It’s a QB league. Daniel Jones is a very good young QB. He joined a dumpster fire franchise, and they changed coaches every year. Now Jones has some experience, the rest of the team is familiar with the scheme. The key is stability, and it looks like they finally have a little of that. When you call a play in the huddle and half the players have to be reminded of their assignment, they’re not moving at full speed. This is the first time since Jones was drafted that the rest of his teammates will be moving at full speed. It makes a huge difference. That’s why you saw them being competitive the second half of the season. The passing game will continue to evolve, and that’s actually what opens up holes for the RB’s. Not the other way around.

  22. 1. Let Barkley walk – hopefully a division rival over pays him.

    2. Use the non-exclusive tag on Jones for a year. See if he can do it again. See if they can work out a 3 year deal. Even if Daniel Jones has improved to somewhat above average in effectiveness (you have to credit his running), he’s not going to help a team making high end QB money. Trade him if you can in that case.

  23. Overrated RB. Has always been more hype than game. He wore down bad by the last few games this past year as well. Not worth event the tag if they did not tag Jones. Be better off to let him go at any price and take a comp pick. Get a guy in the 3rd round of he draft.

  24. Let’s be clear about something- the QB franchise number is 32 million, and the salary cap is 224 million. Math says that’s 14% of the cap, leaving 192 million to build around him. You can argue he doesn’t deserve that money, but stop with the “can’t build a team around him because of big QB money” nonsense. They would have plenty of money to use to build around him, and with a bunch of guys getting paid well north of 40 now (maybe a few over 50), 32 for one year is actually a deal.

  25. Report has Jones asking for $45 million which is ridiculous. I’m a Jones fan,would love to see what he could do with some quality players(WR) around him, but not a the cost of getting into cap hell again. I feel the same about Barkley. Let’s shore up many of our position deficiencies. Without a great supporting cast, Jones will remain an adaquit QB, no matter how much he is paid. Plan for the future

  26. Jones is a second tier qb. Maybe, barely top 10. Hopefully, the Giants are smart and don’t break the bank for him. They will.

  27. Jerry Jones might try to find a way to swap Zeke for Barkley. Can’t imagine any sane team throwing huge money at ANY RB. Barkley will be temping. He is that good. A true difference maker, but buyer beware. History shows it is the O Line where the smart money is spent. Every year unheralded backs take the NFL by surprise and thrive and every year a superstar back vastly underperforms.

  28. Barkley is unquestionably a very good back, but at this point the jury is out; his days are numbered. If the Giants choose to tag Jones, they should keep Saquon only on a short term deal, at less than the tag value (example, 2 yr, $15 million).
    Saquon won’t like it, as he’s shown his value this past year, but unfortunately, that’s the monetary extent of his value. I doubt the open market would treat him any better, which sad to say, is rare in this case.

  29. I know cap has gone up but proportionately (% of cap), Dan shouldn’t be making more than Eli Manning did with 2 rings did. It just makes it impossible to put a team around him. Condon had a fair deal worked out.

  30. The fact of the matter is that Jones play last year certainly warrants him being considered a top 12-16 starting QB…..and those guys are earning 35+ a year. Is that nuts? Yes. Is it the reality? Also yes.

    With the way the game is now played, its starting to look like only teams with ELITE Qb’s (top 5) will be winning SB’s. Jones on his best day will NEVER be in that discussion….so we’ll be paying him 35+ mill a year to see us fail in the playoffs every season. Awesome. Its hard to build a true winner when your QB (who isnt even that great) is sucking up close to 20% of your cap.

  31. Such a NYG thing to do… decline his 5th year option in ’22 ($22.4mil) and then lean toward franchise tagging him after a moderately mediocre contract year at $32.4Mil. Can always low-ball Darnold or Mayfield for their services at 1/2 the price of Jones and 75-90% of his production?

  32. When he’s healthy he’s great. A force to be reckoned with. But like a lot of RBs staying healthy is the big issue. To keep him healthy for a full season he’ll need to be part of a rotation. I think that limits his value.

  33. Imagine you cheer for a team that is considering paying either of these guys? Let the mediocrity continue.

  34. New York hype is hilarious. Daboll ends the year 4-7-1 and is coach of the year. Now Jones should be paid like a top flight QB. I can tell you that Eagles fans hope the Giants handcuff themselves to Jones for a long time. Anyone who thinks Daboll is gonna turn Jones into Josh Allen 2.0 is kidding themselves. The Giants and Jones had a good start then got figured out like mediocre teams always do. Unfortunately for the Giants they can’t play the Vikings defense 17 times.

  35. At best maybe a $5 to $7 million a year RB, with maybe 1 year guaranteed. Short shelf life for RB’s and Barkley has a long injury history, simply not worth anywhere near what he thinks he is worth. Better off to let him walk and sign three average RB’s (or draft) with the money he wants and once he gets banged up there is little money to pay even a slightly below average QB. Actually the better move is to put that money towards the O-line, great lines make average RB’s look good, but bad lines make it nearly impossible even for the best of RB’s.

  36. Even if you were guaranteed that Barkley would be healthy and productive, no RB is worth 16 mil a year compared to signing another very good RB for less than a quarter of that salary. For something like 6 mil a year there’s a discussion to be had if he enough of an upgrade over a much cheaper alternative, but at 16, there is no discussion. The money is better served elsewhere.

  37. Saquon Barkley isn’t the only Free Agent running back available. He hasn’t proved he can stay healthy. Jamaal Williams could be had for a lot less,.. probably 2 years and $12 mil with $6 guaranteed. He had a heckuva year for Detroit. But it doesn’t look like they want to resign him.

  38. He thinks he’s a top-10 QB. I would put him around 11 or 12. He might get there, but he’s not there now.

  39. Barkley is a potentially special Running back in the Derrick Henry/Christian McCaffrey class. With a better supporting cast when healthy I think his numbers would be more eye popping. I can see taking a chance on giving him a big money deal if it’s short term or if you are the Bears or Falcons with all the cap space in world why not take a flyer.

  40. It’s almost impossible to win the Super Bowl in today’s NFL paying a running back $16 on a long term deal. Name the last team paying a RB a top of the market salary to win the Super Bowl? That money needs to be spent on positions where it’s tougher to find cheap talent like QB, DE and CB.

  41. The Giants could have had both Chubbs. They could have had Micah Parsons. They could have had the other Josh Allen. This is not Monday morning QBing. This was what some Giants fans were screaming. OBVIOUS PICKS. Or passing Laramy Tunsil. Or passing on Taylor Decker. Or picking Eli Apple. Or picking DBaker. Beyond frustrating watching how stupid they were. Not even attempting to try Flowers at Guard? The Giants previous Admin put them in a horrible spot. It’s like they tried to mess up at every turn. Painful past 10 years.
    PS: There was nothing wrong with not picking up his option. Wasting 22M vs paying 10 more (with increased cap) is no big deal. Saquan is a hard pass, at any price. He should never have been drafted. He got beat up because no one could block.

  42. If the football Giants don’t tag Saquon Barkley, then he should tell every team he will be switching to wide receiver. He is the same height as Deebo Samuel, he is faster while weighing more by about 15 pounds. Barkley is already a good “catcher of the football” and should be able to learn the intricacies of an NFL receiver by the end of training camp.
    As far as Daniel Jones, the Giants should let him try the free agent market; who would pay him more than 30? Maybe the Falcons and that would be it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.