NFL Rumors: New York Giants and Star Running Back "At a Stalemate" Over Contract

It appears to be an awful time to be an NFL running back. ESPN's Dianna Russini provided an update on negotiations between the New York Giants and star running back Saquon Barkley, describing the two parties as "at a stalemate" as the deadline to strike a long-term deal looms. The Giants slapped the franchise tag on Barkley earlier this offseason after a resurgent year that saw him compile 1650 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns, both his most since his rookie season.

The market for running backs has taken an extremely harsh turn in recent seasons. 2022 rushing champ Josh Jacobs also received the franchise tag from the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason and remains without a new deal. He totalled an eye-popping 2053 yards from scrimmage last season, and his 5.2 yards per touch easily dwarfed Barkley's 4.7.

Even quality backs already on lucrative deals aren't safe. The Minnesota Vikings cut Dalvin Cook after a fourth-straight Pro Bowl season earlier this season, and Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Mixon is also a frequent subject of cut speculation.

Barkley is allegedly considering holding out into the regular season. Unfortunately for him, he isn't the level of player capable of changing the tide on the NFL's devaluation of running backs. He may be a former second-overall pick and the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year, but it's been a long time since he showed the promise that made him a star in the league's biggest market. His 4041 yards from scrimmage and 4.8 yards per touch since 2019 simply don't move the needle, and the Giants have never finished better than 15th in points scored in any season over that span.

For Barkley to break the bank, he'll need suitors, and it's unlikely there are any teams out there willing to back up the Brinks truck and part with meaningful draft resources to acquire him via trade. Unless he can get the fans on his side, he'll have a hard time generating the necessary leverage to land a top-of-the-market deal. He may be better off trying to generate as much goodwill as he can with the Giants by having a spectacular 2023.

Photo Credit: © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports