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Saquon Barkley thought he'd retire a Giant, now can see himself in another uniform

As he heads toward free agency in March, Saquon Barkley knows his days as a Giant may be done.

Barkley says that early in his career he saw himself as a Giant for life, but when he got the franchise tag last offseason, he began to realize that it's a business for both sides, and leaving may be the best business for him.

"Yeah, I mean it never crossed my mind until last year after I got tagged. Up until that moment, I really believe that I was gonna finish my career as a New York Giant. You know, that was a goal of mine. And that's still in play. I have so much respect for the Mara family and the Tisch family and everyone in the Giants organization," Barkley told Complex.com. "They know that but once you get to this point, you go to your contract negotiation and you go through the tag process, you realize how much of a business it is. And I remember vets always telling me this and you know I believed them, but you don't really know something until you go through it. So could I see myself in another uniform? Yeah, it's possible."

The Giants could tag Barkley again, they could sign him to a contract extension before free agency, or they could let him test the free agent market. If Barkley does hit free agency, he recognizes that he's doing so at a time when teams aren't willing to pay running backs the way they did years ago.

"It sucks that I'm part of that trend right now but there will be a time where running backs will get paid again," Barkley said.

Barkley will get paid this offseason. But perhaps not as much as he's hoping for, and perhaps by some team other than the Giants.