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Saquon Barkley Says He Wants to Be a 'Giant for Life' Ahead of Contract Talks in FA

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 22, 2023

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 21: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley's rookie contract is set to expire, but the former Penn State star made it clear Saturday that he wants to remain with Big Blue for life.

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"I don't want to jump to any conclusions. I've been vocal about how I feel and where I want to be. I wanted to show the Giants that they guy they drafted is still here. Everyone knows I would love to be a Giant for life"<br><br>- Saquon Barkley on his future with the Giants <a href="https://t.co/WIb5SNLahJ">pic.twitter.com/WIb5SNLahJ</a>

Barkley's comments occurred after the Giants fell 38-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC divisional round. However, this was still a successful season for Barkley and the Giants.

The running back finished with 1,650 total yards and 10 touchdowns to help lead the team to its first playoff appearance since the 2016 season and first postseason victory since the 2011 season.

It was a great comeback season for Barkley, who missed nearly the entire 2020 campaign with a torn ACL and managed only 856 yards and four scores during his return in 2021.

The Giants have some big decisions to make on the free-agency front, and it starts with quarterback Daniel Jones, whose contract is also set to expire. Safety Julian Love is the big free agent on the defensive side of the ball.

New York has the cap room to retain talent and add more from other teams as well. Per Over the Cap, the Giants have the third-most effective cap space in football going into this offseason.

As far as Barkley goes, the Giants can sign him to a long-term deal, place the franchise tag on him or simply let him walk.

On one hand, he was an instrumental part of the team's 2022 turnaround and a core piece of this team. There's no disputing his tremendous talents, and he put the offense on his back at times this year.

On the other hand, the running back position has devalued over the years, and the Giants have serious concerns to address on the offensive line and linebacker that could be solved via free agency.

Ultimately, general manager Joe Schoen has a crucial decision to make regarding Barkley, but his renaissance season should get him paid somewhere in the league. A second contract will be well-deserved for an exciting offensive talent who helped New York more than double its win total from last year.