In the midst of a fantastic comeback season for the surprising New York Giants, Saquon Barkley won't get a contract extension before the offseason.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Barkley and the Giants have agreed to pause any contract talks until after the campaign ends after the two sides "did not come close" to terms on a new deal during the team's bye last week.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen told reporters during the Week 9 bye the team would be open to extending both Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones, but a deal would have to be reached at that time to avoid potentially having an impact on games:
"We'll talk about it if we want to, we had to get through the trade deadline today and those conversations, then we'll kind of circle up with some strategy meetings as we move forward on contract extensions and if we may or may not do anybody. If I did, this would be the week. I would want to entertain it during the bye week and then I probably won't do anything after that. I don't want anything to be a distraction to the players or the organization. So, if we do something, it would be probably before Monday with any of our guys, I'm not saying him, but when we have those conversations."
It's unclear what sort of compensation Barkley will be seeking in a new deal, but Schefter noted he will likely seek a contract that makes him one of the league's highest-paid running backs.
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys currently has the richest running back contract by total value ($90 million over six years). Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers leads all running backs in average annual salary ($16.02 million).
Barkley would seem to be in a prime negotiating position based on his performance this season. The Penn State alum ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (779) and third in yards from scrimmage (968).
This has been a fantastic bounce-back campaign for Barkley. He had 950 yards from scrimmage in the previous two years combined. His 2020 season was limited to two games because of a torn ACL.
The Giants originally selected Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading the league with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. He followed that up with 1,441 scrimmage yards in 2019.
Investing in running backs isn't always a smart strategy for teams. But Barkley has made himself an invaluable part of the Giants offense, so he could be an exception to the rule.
New York is currently the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs with a 6-2 record. Its six wins are tied for its most in a single season since 2017.