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Fed-up Saquon Barkley tells Giants to franchise tag him soon or ‘let me go’ on breakup day

Saquon Barkley is fed up with playing games.

He challenged the Giants on Monday to either franchise tag him a second straight year or “let me go” into free agency.

Just don’t make him wait.

“They did it last year, so I’m numb to it,” Barkley said at his locker about the tag. “I don’t have any feelings toward that at all. [But] if you’re gonna do it, just don’t wait until March 5. Just get it over with. If not, let me go. Simple.”

Barkley, 26, had promised last week that he would speak honestly with GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll at his exit meeting. But the Giants did not hold individual player exit meetings on Monday.

They organized group meetings for the team, free agents, rookies and second-year players. And they announced an open-door policy if players wanted to pop upstairs to review their year.

But Barkley passed. He sounds very much like he craves a fresh start.

“Not really,” he said of the need to speak to Schoen on Monday. “I feel like I went through the whole process last year. We talked more than enough last year to be honest. Not just talking with Joe but the whole negotiation thing. I’m gonna let my agents handle that.”

Schoen noted during Monday’s end of season press conference that the Giants had the ability to tag Barkley a second straight year because the running back’s agents didn’t negotiate it out of this year’s contract.

“Saquon and I will talk about that,” Schoen said. “That’s a tool we have at our disposal. When we redid his deal before he came to camp, that wasn’t taken out of that deal. It wasn’t a ‘hey, we’ll do this but no franchise tag.’ So that’s an option that we have on the table… I’m not saying we will, or we won’t. A lot of those conversations will be had over the next month or so.”

Barkley was far from sentimental Sunday after beating the Eagles, though, too.

When asked about the game possibly being his last with the team, he said: “If it is, it was a fun six years, made a lot of great memories. But it’s not like the last time I’m ever playing football, you know what I mean?”

The absence of any exit meetings on Monday, meanwhile, was an unusual difference from last year’s protocol. It confused several players.

But after this disappointing season, little surprises them.

“The whole year’s been different,” one player said with a dismissive laugh. “Wouldn’t expect anything else.”