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Evaluating The Giants Dilemma With Saquon Barkley As The Deadline Looms
Is Paying Barkley a sound decision?
Hey everyone. It’s been a while since I sent out this newsletter. Recently I’ve been contemplating exactly how I want to spend my time making content around the NFL. I wish I had the time to write every day and make video content, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to do everything.
This week I came up with the idea of taking some of my youtube video transcripts and turning them into articles with the help of an editor. Doing this will allow me to create even more content. I’ll be testing this out and seeing how it goes. Hope you enjoy!
The New York Giants are facing a crucial decision regarding their star running back, Saquon Barkley. As the July 17th deadline for a long-term deal looms, both parties find themselves at a stalemate.
Barkley, having been given the franchise tag, has expressed his desire for a more substantial, multi-year contract. However, the Giants have yet to yield to his demands.
In recent years, the running back market has experienced a noticeable decline in value. This trend places Saquon Barkley in a precarious position, along with other running backs such as Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders. The Giants have already offered Barkley the franchise tag, guaranteeing him around $10 million.
While he has shown reluctance in signing it, it is arguable that this amount is already fair compensation for his services. In today's NFL landscape, allocating a significant portion of the salary cap to a running back is less advisable than investing in other positions.
Instead of dedicating a substantial portion of their salary cap to a running back, the Giants could benefit from redirecting those funds towards other areas of their offense. In the current NFL climate, investing $15 million in a wide receiver, for example, may be a more reasonable use of resources. By allocating more money to the receiver position, the Giants could significantly bolster their offensive capabilities and ensure a more dependable and well-rounded offense.
To illustrate the potential discrepancy in contract value, it is worth comparing the recent contract signed by Miles Sanders with the Panthers to the demands of Saquon Barkley.
Sanders, with a career average of 4.9 yards per carry, signed a four-year deal with the Panthers worth $25.4 million, equating to an annual salary of $6.35 million. Notably, Barkley's stats were slightly worse when it came to yards per carry, with Barkley averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Based on this comparison, a contract offer in the range of $10 million seems more than fair considering Sanders contract.
While acknowledging Barkley's undeniable talent and past achievements, it is important to assess his recent performance. In 2021, Barkley struggled, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. Although he showed improvement in 2022, with an average of 4.4 yards per carry, he has yet to match his rookie season's remarkable performance, where he achieved an impressive five yards per carry.
Although defenses often focus their attention on Barkley, leading to more challenging circumstances for him, it is evident that the Giants could find cheaper alternatives that aren’t that much of a decline from Saquon.
Despite Barkley's desire for a long-term deal and his potential willingness to sit out the season, it appears that he has limited leverage in the negotiation process. The Giants have already shown their willingness to pay him $10 million by offering him the franchise tag.
On the other hand, Barkley risks losing more by sitting out the 2023 season. The Giants have the option to fill his position with other running backs, such as Matt Breida, who may not possess Barkley's overall talent but can still provide decent production in terms of yards per carry.
Given the Giants' current weakness at the wide receiver position, it is advisable for them to prioritize allocating their resources towards securing a top-tier receiver. Instead of paying Barkley $12 to $15 million annually, the Giants could explore options like pursuing DeAndre Hopkins. Securing a receiver of Hopkins' caliber would undoubtedly elevate quarterback Daniel Jones' performance, who has shown promise despite limited offensive weapons.
Considering the decline in the running back market, the Giants should carefully evaluate the value of paying Saquon Barkley a substantial contract. While Barkley has proven to be a productive running back, the Giants would be better served by allocating their resources toward strengthening other positions, particularly wide receiver.
By pursuing alternatives and investing in offensive weapons that complement Daniel Jones' abilities, the Giants can build a more dynamic and competitive team. Ultimately, making sound financial decisions and prioritizing team needs should guide the Giants' approach to Saquon Barkley's contract situation.
(This article was taken from the transcript of my original youtube video “Why The Giants Shouldn’t Pay Saquon Barkley” and then put together by an editor.)