To Be Or Not To Be Barkley; That Is The Giants’ Question

To Be Barkley, or not be Barkley.


That is the Giants’ question. It is a form of poetic justice.


Saquon Barkley missed the team’s OTA and minicamp, and now has stirred notions of sitting out training camp.


It will come down to whether the Giants give him a long-term deal. We’ve all seen and heard about it.


To Be Barkley, or to be Barkley.


By July 17, we will know.


The Giants did whip up a new deal for defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence to put him on par with his peers in the league. Lawrence did enough chirping, and the Giants complied. They signed him to a four-year deal.


Before that, they decided Daniel Jones was their franchise quarterback, and they did what was necessary to alleviate any issues. They also inked him to a four-year deal and reduced their cap number this year and the next.


So, that leaves the 26-year–old Barkley, who had his best year ever last season with 1,322 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He also had 57 catches for 338 yards.Barkley also was a big key to the team’s playoff victory over the Vikings.


More importantly, he was utilized properly in the Giants’ new balanced offense under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka, as he had a bounce-back year after a sub-par 593 yards in 2021. 


With Dabool and Gm Joe Schoen, there is a calm, confident, and copasetic environment in the Meadowlands, one that hasn’t been present since the Tom Coughlin days.


The pieces seem to be in place, and the unveiling of this season is highly anticipated. 


Barkley now is a viable centerpiece and team captain, and the injury haunts of the past appear to be gone. The Giants also don’t have a viable fallback option. Are they actually going to begin the season with Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, and fifth-round pick Eric Gray?


For the Giants. It is about wanting to give him a four-year deal at age 26. Reports indicate that the team has offered him deals in the $12 and $13 million range, and the former Penn State product turned it down. 


Barkley has his $10 million franchise tag, and he believes it is not enough. He does have a point.


But there also is the point about honoring your deal, especially if he was offered more. Over the past two years, Barkley has been in-line with the team, and he can see the crescendo rising.


Salary wise, he is sitting behind Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, and Aaron Jones. Is he somewhere among the top five? You can certainly make the point.


Do the Giants let him sit out and sign 27-year-old Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott as a short-term solution this year and see what happens? That could be a possibility.


Somehow, the feeling is the Giants will get it done. There seems to be too much at stake to let Barkley sit out and ruin the team’s chemistry.


At the time of this writing, Barkley and the Giants had 30 days to make a decision.


To be Barkley or not to be Barkley.


That is still the question.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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