NFL free agency: Texans named favorites to sign RB Saquon Barkley

The smoke around a Saquon Barkley-Houston Texans marriage continues to billow.

Oddsmakers like the Texans as a destination for the impending free-agent running back after reports surfaced that the New York Giants wouldn’t place the franchise tag on him. Houston is the favorite to sign Barkley at -200 odds, per DraftKings.

Barkley and the Texans have been linked to each other all offseason. The running back reportedly spoke with Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud earlier this winter. Head coach DeMeco Ryans has said he wants to upgrade the running back, but also spoke highly of internal free agent Devin Singletary.

Houston is reportedly exploring multiple avenues at the position, according to KPRC 2’s Aaron Wilson, which include re-signing Singletary and bringing in another running back. Barkley, though, would add a different edge to the offense that the team hasn’t seen in the running game for a while.

A Barkley deal could be costly, though. He’s totaled nearly 3,000 scrimmage yards and 20 combined touchdowns over the past two years with 7,311 career scrimmage yards and 47 career touchdowns. A contract for Barkley could be anywhere from $7.9 million annually (Over The Cap) to $9.9 million (Spotrac) to $11 million (Pro Football Focus).

The Texans can afford that with an estimated $67 million in salary cap space, but it’s unclear if general manager Nick Caserio wants to spend that much money on a running back. Barkley comes with injury concerns as well. He hasn’t played a full regular-season slate since his rookie season.

We’ll see what the Texans do when free agency ramps up on March 11.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire