According to Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated, the former Penn State star's reps "implored" him to publicly say that he won't play for the Browns.
Although Barkley's reps would reportedly prefer Barkley slip past No. 1 overall and go No. 2 to the New York Giants, Barkley has no plans to force the Browns to pass on him.
Baskin added that Barkley has told friends he has visions of bringing a championship to Cleveland and becoming a beloved figure in much the same way LeBron James did by leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title.
Kim Miale, Barkley's agent, later denied the report to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com in a statement:
"I can say on behalf of our entire team that we would be thrilled for Saquon to go to whichever team drafts him. We know he will be a resounding success for any team fortunate enough to select him.''
Sports Illustrated would release a statement to A.J. Perez of USA Today defending the report, "SI continues to stand by its reporting and story in the current issue.”
Barkley is widely viewed as the best all-around prospect in the 2018 NFL draft, but his reps may not have to worry much about him going No. 1 overall.
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Per Tom Rock of Newsday, ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay said Wednesday that Barkley getting selected by the New York Giants at No. 2 feels "inevitable."
But even if Cleveland passes on him with the top pick, it is still possible for the Browns to land Barkley, as they also own the No. 4 overall selection.
The Giants arguably have a bigger need for Barkley, since Cleveland did sign running back Carlos Hyde away from the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Barkley as the No. 1 overall prospect in the draft as part of his latest big board. Miller also projected in his latest mock draft that Barkley will slide to the Browns at No. 4 overall.