New York Giants Running Back Won't Sign Franchise Tag

The New York Giants and their superstar running back are at an impasse. According to Giants beat reporter Kim Jones, Saquon Barkley will not sign his franchise tender and will not report to the team's upcoming offseason program.

The Giants placed the franchise tag on Barkley in March, locking him up on a one-year, $10.091 million deal. Barkley would prefer to sign a long-term deal, and the Giants have shown interest in working something out, but the two sides evidently aren't close.

Barkley is coming off a Pro Bowl season and arguably his best season since his rookie year, but that's part of the problem. He hasn't proven himself to be a reliable or consistent contributor: he missed a total of 18 games from 2020 to 2021 while averaging a mere 41.8 rushing yards per game and 3.5 yards per attempt when available.

Barkley was sensational as a rookie, leading the league with his 2028 yards from scrimmage, but he hasn't come close to that sort of promise in the ensuing years, and other backs have since demonstrated much higher ceilings with much higher floors. As big a star as he is, it would be difficult to justify handing over a top-of-the-market deal, and an injury-riddled 2023 season could tank his value. Unless he's willing to sit out, he may have to settle for a contract in the range of Dalvin Cook's five-year, $63 million deal signed in 2020.

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