Giants work on Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence deals

Jordan RaananESPN Writer4 minute read

Giants GM understands why Saquon is ‘frustrated’

Giants general manager Joe Schoen provides an update on his contract talks with Saquon Barkley.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — It’s likely the New York Giants aren’t done making big moves this offseason.

A day after signing quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year deal worth $160 million, general manager Joe Schoen said the team has made offers to running back Saquon Barkley and will continue. to negotiate with its representatives. The Giants used the franchise tag Tuesday on Barkley.

Schoen also said the team has entered into negotiations with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. He is expected to play on the fifth-year option of his $12.4 million rookie contract.

But attention now seems to be turning to Barkley, who would have become a free agent and hit the open market had the Giants not reached a deal with Jones by Tuesday’s deadline. New York offered Barkley a deal for more than $12 million a year during the bye week in November. Sources said they had increased supply slightly in recent weeks.

“Again, we’ve made deals, whether it’s the week off or recently, and we’re going to continue to negotiate,” Schoen said Wednesday during a Zoom press conference to announce the Jones deal. “We like Saquon. He’s a good teammate. He’s a captain. He’s a hell of a player.

“Right now he’s under the franchise tag, and as we build the team and pursue our offseason plan, we’ll do what’s best for our team. We’re still charting that. “

A source told ESPN they believe a long-term deal is a strong possibility before free agency begins next week. The two camps are not that far apart.

It was thought early in the process that $14 million might be somewhere Barkley considers acceptable.

As of now, the Pro Bowler is stuck on the $10.1 million franchise tag. The Giants’ latest offer is believed to be around $13 million.

Barkley, 26, told ESPN after the season he hoped to avoid the franchise tag. It was not a desirable option.

“If you ask anybody, they would prefer a long-term deal and not be tagged,” Barkley told ESPN the day after the Giants’ season ended. “But, unfortunately, it’s part of our business. It’s something they can do.”

It is a tool that the Giants now have at their disposal. That can only help the team capitalize on the star running back who finished fourth in the NFL with 1,312 rushing yards last season. It’s all part of the chain reaction that has existed for the Giants with the Jones and Barkley situations so intertwined. Jones’ deal, based on the vastness of the numbers and his position, was the priority. Barkley’s situation depended greatly on that of his quarterback.

“Those are negotiations. We had agreements there. We tried to reach an agreement with him and his representatives, and we couldn’t,” Schoen said. “I think both parties ultimately knew it was an option, and I think, again, if he’s frustrated, I can understand some of that. We can also be frustrated that we can’t conclude an agreement. .

“I love Saquon. He’s a good player. He’ll be part of this team in the future, and we’ll see where it takes us.”

A long-term deal with Barkley would additionally provide the Giants with additional cash to complete the rest of the roster. Schoen said he would lower Barkley’s 2023 cap if the parties agree on a new contract.

It was imperative for the Giants to deal with Jones. Schoen called using the franchise tag for $32.4 million on his quarterback the “worst-case scenario.” This is not necessarily the case for a running back.

But Jones and Barkley are aware of the implications of their deals on the rest of the roster. They relished the opportunity to play on a winning team last season for the first time in their careers.

Even when they’re trying to mind their own business, it’s something that’s at least on their minds.

“In a situation like this, you try to do what’s best for you and your family while balancing being part of a team and understanding the goals and the vision that we have as team and as an organization,” Jones said. “It was definitely important to me throughout the deal. I think we found a way to do those two things and do it the right way for both parties. It was definitely important to me.

“Saqon, I said he meant a lot to me as a teammate, as a friend, and he meant a lot to us as a player. So I certainly won’t talk about his business, but it was definitely a piece of that too.”

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