NFL Rumors: New York Giants Seeking Long-Term Commitment to Star Running Back

The New York Giants applied the franchise tag to star running back Saquon Barkley in lieu of signing him to a long-term contract, but that doesn't mean they don't consider him a part of their extended future. Speaking with the media Monday, owner John Mara said he wants the young back to be a Giant "for his entire career." Barkley bounced back from a disappointing few seasons in 2022, rushing for 1312 yards at a solid 4.4 yards per attempt and adding another 338 yards through the air while earning his second Pro Bowl. The former second-overall pick has never quite recaptured the explosiveness that made him the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, but his resurgence was a big reason why the Giants battled their way all the way to Divisional Round after five straight losing seasons.

Barkley's high profile relative to his quality of play will make him a tricky negotiation; being drafted so high to such a visible franchise as the Giants has artificially inflated his stardom. He could land near the top of the running back market, somewhere in the neighborhood of Alvin Kamara's $15 million per year deal. Something closer to the $12-13 million range occupied by Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb and Joe Mixon would be more appropriate. 
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