John Mara wants Saquon Barkley to be Giant for life, but no long-term offer is on table
Giants owner John Mara is hopeful the team can work out an extension for Saquon Barkley, but with the market for running backs down, Big Blue does not have a long-term contract offer on the table for the running back right now.
"I told Saquon we want him to be a Giant for his entire career," Mara told reporters at the NFL’s owners meetings in Phoenix, via ESPN. "He provides leadership, he's a great player and we'd like to be able to get something done with him at some point. The running back market is what it is right now, but I'm still hopeful at some point we will come to an agreement."
New York placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Barkley in February and general manager Joe Schoen said he is in "constant contact" with the running back’s agent about a long-term deal ahead of the July 15 deadline for teams to sign tagged players to extensions.
However, Schoen told reporters on Monday that any offer that was on the table before the Giants placed the tag on Barkley is now off the table for the time being.
"There's no outstanding offer right now," Schoen said. "Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew throughout the negotiation that there was going to be a time where, if we couldn't come to an agreement, we were going to go to the franchise tag, and that's what we did."
With the tag, Barkley would play the season on a one-year deal worth a shade over $10 million. Only six running backs – Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Christian McCaffrey – will carry a higher salary cap figure for the 2023 season, per Over the Cap. Schoen said the team is “fine with that.”
Mara said he had “a very good conversation” with Barkley 10 days ago.
"I told him how much I wanted him to be a Giant and to play his whole career as a Giant like Eli [Manning] did, like [Michael] Strahan did, like Tiki [Barber] did, and look at what they're doing off the field now. And I think he would like that as well."