Star running backs Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders failed to reach a long-term deal with their teams before the franchise tag extension deadline Monday, according to multiple reports.
Barkley and Jacobs are now expected to miss all of their respective training camps, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which they are allowed to do without fines since they have not signed their franchise tags, which are worth $10.091 million to the season.
They would lose game controls if they continue to hold out past training camp and miss regular-season games.
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Both players were tagged earlier this offseason to avoid hitting the free agent market, but this NFL deadline was always looming. Despite both players discussing the terms with their teams, the market for short running backs didn’t help find common ground on extensions.
Going forward, both teams can negotiate one-year deals with their respective running backs, but a multi-year deal cannot be signed.
The most notable hurdle by a running back to date was Alvin Kamara with the New Orleans Saints. Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon did it in 2019, and of course, Le’Veon Bell’s infamous hold on the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 became a model for how this could get worse.
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Bell ended up signing for less money with the New York Jets than the Steelers initially offered, and he recently apologized to the fan base for doing so.
Barkley and the Giants were trying to do something, but all the recent reports said pretty much the same thing: There was a lot of work to be done.
According to NorthJersey.com and Giants Insider, the Giants increased Barkley’s guaranteed money as part of their long-term negotiations to $22 million, up slightly from the $19.5 million reported Monday. However, the New York Post has learned that it also lowered the average annual value of his contract.
Barkley and the Giants haven’t agreed on what he’s worth during negotiations, and his tweet about the situation summed things up perfectly.
«It is what it is,» he tweeted five minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline.
The Giants were able to reach long-term deals with quarterback Daniel Jones and star interior lineman Dexter Lawrence this offseason.
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But it’s no secret that Barkley was one of the main reasons the Giants broke their playoff drought last season and defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round, scoring two touchdowns in the game.
Barkley finished the year with 1,312 rushing yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 295 attempts, with 10 rushing touchdowns. He was also tied for receptions on the team with 57.
As for Jacobs, he was the NFL’s leading rusher last season with 1,653 yards and 2,053 yards from scrimmage, which also led the league.
Like the Giants, the Raiders paid a quarterback this offseason, bringing in free agent Jimmy Garoppolo on a three-year, $72.75 million deal that caught the eye of many after Derek Carr’s departure from the organization.
Jacobs’ ability to wear down defenses and have the home run play in his back pocket, similar to Barkley’s, makes him a vital piece of what the Raiders want to achieve as well.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard also failed to reach a long-term deal, but he did sign his franchise tag for the upcoming season. Therefore, he is expected to be there for the start of training camp.
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For Barkley and Jacobs, the big questions about what they want to do in the future will cloud over their organizations until they show their hand for the future.