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Peter King Doubts Saquon Barkley Will Receive $12M+ Contract from Giants

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2022

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With New York Giants star Saquon Barkley heading into the final year of his contract, Peter King of NBC Sports believes the running back will play for another team next season.

"I doubt they want to spend more than $12 million on a running back, even if Barkley plays very well this year," King wrote. "Like so many players on the roster, my guess is he's auditioning for 31 other teams as much as the Giants this fall."

Barkley will make $7.2 million in 2022 from the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, but eight NFL running backs are averaging at least $12 million per year on their current deals, per Spotrac. Christian McCaffrey leads the position with $16 million per year after signing his four-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

When healthy, Barkley has proved to be in this class of elite running backs and worthy of a high-priced deal. He earned a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie in 2018 when the led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage, adding 15 touchdowns. A year later, he totaled 1,441 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing three games.

Injuries have been a bigger story in recent years, however, limiting Barkley to just 15 games over the past two seasons combined. He also averaged just 3.5 yards per carry in this stretch after averaging 4.8 yards per carry in his first two seasons.

It could be enough for the Giants to move on next offseason, regardless of what Barkley does in 2022.

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