Saquon Barkley has two options: play the franchise tag worth just over $10 million, or not play at all.
The New York Giants running back is in this position because he and the G-Men were unable to reach a long-term deal before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline: Barkley and the Giants can now only negotiate salary for 2023.
But a reservation is now officially on the table.
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In an interview recorded on July 11, six days before the deadline, Barkley admitted that most of his influence is gone, but all he has left is the fact that he is probably the best player on the team.
«My advantage is I could say ‘Fuck you’ to the Giants, I could say ‘Fuck you’ to my teammates and say, ‘Do you want me to show you what I’m worth? Do you want me to? What valuable am I to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down. And that’s a play I could use,» Barkley said to «money matters» podcast.
Barkley said he never thought he would be left out because «what really matters is winning,» but at the same time, he needs to take care of himself.
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«Any [who] You know me, you know that’s not something I want to do. Is it something that has crossed my mind? I never thought I’d ever do that, 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 this level? I don’t know. That’s something I have to sit down and talk to my family about, talk to my team about.» [of advisers] and strategize about it, you can’t get carried away by emotions.»
But that seems like a long shot because the franchise tag has given Barkley the motivation to succeed on the grid again.
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«I am in a place where if I go out on the field and have to play and show [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 rushing touchdowns. He was also tied for receptions on the team with 57.
Big Blue went 9-8-1 last year, winning their first playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.