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Giants not using franchise tag on Saquon Barkley, allowing running back to hit free agency

The Giants have decided to not use their franchise tag on Saquon Barkley for the second consecutive year, per multiple reports, allowing the running back to enter free agency.

Barkley is coming off a very productive season with the Giants. The 27-year-old back rushed for 962 yards on 247 carries while catching 41 passes for 280 yards. He also scored 10 total touchdowns in 14 games last season.

However, with the price of running backs increasing, and the number of holes on the Giants roster, Big Blue has decided to let Barkley explore the free-agent market. While this doesn't preclude the Giants and Barkley from agreeing to a new contract, other teams could now vie for his services.

Barkley will join a free agent pool of running backs that includes Derrick HenryJosh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, Austin Ekeler and Ezekiel Elliott, among others.

With Barkley heading towards free agency, the Giants' running back room consists of Eric Gray, Matt Breida and Jashaun Corbin.

The Giants tagged Barkley last year when they failed to agree on a long-term contract. The franchise tag for a running back going into the 2023-24 season was $10.1 million. If the Giants tagged Barkley this season, it would have cost New York $12 million, an increase of 20 percent.