RB Saquon Barkley remains committed to staying with Giants

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley in action before an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

There are no promises that Saquon Barkley will be a member of the New York Giants following the season finale. In fact, Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles could be the last time the running back plays in a Giants uniform.

That said, Barkley, who played on a revised franchise tag in 2023, made it clear that he wants to stay in New York with the team that drafted him.

"I've mentioned before that I want to be a Giant for Life," Barkley said via ESPN. "That was a goal of mine when I got drafted. I wanted to leave a legacy here, but it's out of my control."

According to Barkley, there have been no talks about a long-term deal between the two sides. He has no idea what the franchise's intentions are with him, but if it were left up to the 26-year-old, he'd like to work something out before free agency starts.

He's putting a lot of faith in the organization that he couldn't work out a second contract with last offseason. And considering that, Barkley said he wants the Giants to be honest with him during his exit meeting so he can better game plan for his next steps.

"I'm still as open as I was before," Barkley said. "I just want something that is fair. ... But like I said, I get it. It's a business. If it's not here, hopefully it's some other place."

From Big Blue's perspective, Barkley is coming off another season — four in six years — with an injury. The second overall pick in 2018 missed three games this season due to an ankle injury.

New York (5-11) has made the playoffs only once in the six seasons Barkley has been on the team. Therefore, the Giants could opt to use a second franchise tag, which would be a one-year, $12.1 million deal, on Barkley.

That's the one option the veteran absolutely wants to avoid. Barkley would rather be allowed to test the open market. In 13 games this season, he amassed 916 rushing yards and four scores on 226 carries while catching 39 passes for 229 yards and four receiving touchdowns, which ties his career high.

"I do know that if I'm going to strike, I have to do it now," Barkley said. "This is really probably my last opportunity to get a second deal. After that, the way they view running backs and treat running backs, it's not really ideal if you're looking at it that way.

"I would definitely love to get a second deal. ... I don't think any player wants to get franchise-tagged."