Saquon Barkley has two options: play only at the franchise tag worth more than $10 million or don’t play at all.
The New York Giants are in this position because they and Geman were unable to reach a long-term deal before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline — Barkley and the Giants can now only negotiate salary through 2023.
But a holdout is now officially on the table.
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In an interview taped on July 11, six days before the deadline, Barkley admitted that most of his upside is gone, but he still has a point that he’s probably the best player on the team.
“My advantage is, I can say ‘F–k you’ to the Giants, I can say ‘F–k you’ to my teammates and be like, ‘You want me to show you my value? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I’m not going to show up, I’m not going to play down.’ And that’s a play I can use,” Barkley said.The Money Matters“Podcast.
Barkley said he never thought he would sit out because “what really matters is winning,” but at the same time, he needs to look at himself.
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“anyone [who] I know it’s not something I want to do. Is this something that has occurred to me? I never thought I’d ever do this, but now I’m at a point where it’s like, Jesus, I might have to take it to this level.”
“Am I ready to take it to that level? I don’t know. It’s something I have to sit down and talk to my family, talk to my team. [of advisers] And be strategic about it—can’t just go away with emotion.”
But that seems like an outside chance as the franchise tag has motivated Barkley to succeed on the gridiron again.
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“I’m in a place where if I go on the field, I have to play and prove it. [myself] Again, I’m fine with that,” he continued.
Barkley finished last season with 1,312 rushing yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 295 attempts, with 10 touchdowns on the ground. He was also tied for the most receptions on the team with 57.
Big Blue went 9-8-1 last year, winning its first playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.