On the verge of training camp, the New York Giants and their fans got some good news.
Saquon Barkley is coming to camp, with a new one-year deal in hand.
The team and the running back failed to come to terms on a long-term extension by the NFL’s July 17 deadline for players facing the franchise tag to negotiate a long-term contract. However, the two sides have agreed on a short-term deal for the 2023 season, which gives Barkley a chance. to outperform the current franchise tag number for running backs.
Under the current CBA franchise tag structure, running backs under the franchise tag receive just over $10 million for a season. According to reports, Barkley and the Giants agreed on a one-year deal worth up to $11 million, with a $2 million signing bonus:
The #Giants and star RB Saquon Barkley agreed to terms on a new 1-year deal worth up to $11M, sources say, as Barkley gives himself a chance to beat the franchise tag. He gets a $2M signing bonus.
Bottom line: Barkley is coming in & will be at training camp. pic.twitter.com/A5PR7RWLfQ
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2023
Barkley is one of three running backs — along with Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard — who received the franchise tag from their respective teams but could not come to terms on a long-term deal.
That fact, coupled with the general shifting value NFL teams are placing on the running back position, has generated a lot of discussion in recent days. When the deadline came and went for these three running backs to receive a long-term deal, other running backs took to social media to blast the situation.
Over the past weekend a group of running backs, including Barkley, hopped on a Zoom call to discuss the financial state of the position.
Whether Jacobs and Pollard take a similar approach in the coming days remains to be seen. It is also going to be interesting to see the full terms of this deal. Remember that Barkley was facing $10.091 million under the tag, and with this new deal worth “up to $11 million,” is the number he was expected to receive under the tag guaranteed? The devil may be in the details of the deal.
According to reporting from NFL insider Josina Anderson, that tag number is guaranteed:
I’m told Barkley gets the franchise tag figure of $10.1M, plus an opportunity to make 909k in incentives for a total of 11M. The #Giants gave him $2M of the $10.1M in signing bonus.
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 25, 2023
Adam Schefter of ESPN provided further details on the incentive structure in the contract:
Compensation update: Saquon Barkley’s new 1-year deal with the Giants is worth $10.1 million fully guaranteed, including a $2 million upfront signing bonus.
Deal includes $1 million of incentives with an equal amount paid for 1,300 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns and 65 receptions.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2023
Under that incentive structure, Barkley would have hit one of the three metrics based on his production last season. The running back rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns, and caught 57 passes (on 76 targets) for another 338 yards.
The only season Barkley hit all three numbers came in his rookie year, back in 2018. That season, and last year, are the two years where Barkley was healthy for a full 16-game slate.
There is also no provision in the new deal barring the Giants from placing the franchise tag on Barkley during the next league year.
Still, this is welcome news for the Giants, as they look to get back to the playoffs after a stunning postseason run a year ago.