Circling Back to Saquon Barkley and Other NFL Bullets

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Circling Back to Saquon Barkley, Cowboys Looming Salary Cap Gymastics Act, and Other NFL Bullets


Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants are still working toward a new contract. However, it’s taking significantly longer than most expected. Last we heard, Barkley and the Giants were roughly two million apart, yet here we are two months later with no contract.

  • In November, Barkley turned down a $12 million yearly offer during the Giants’ bye week. In February, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported that “the belief is if the two sides meet at $14 million per year, a deal could get done, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN recently.” According to multiple reports, the Giants even upped their offer to Barkley to $13 million per year after the season, putting them even closer to the sweet spot, according to Raanan’s sources.
  • Still, no deal. So, what gives? According to Joe Schoen, those offers don’t exist. No offer from the Giants currently exists. Schoen said in late March that anything they offered Saquon Barkley before the tag is no longer on the table.

“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 can’t come to an agreement, we’re going to go to the franchise tag, and that’s what we did.”

  • At this point, it certainly seems like the two sides are at an impasse that won’t end with them consummating a deal. The Giants have made their best offer, and Barkley turned it down, and that was it. The Giants have a number they’re willing to pay Barley long-term, and they seem content to let him play on the franchise tag for an even lesser number in 2023. Barkley wants more than the Giants think he’s worth. Welcome to the state of the running back position in 2023. Anyway, the two sides still have some time to have a change of heart. The deadline to agree on an extension before Barkley plays on the franchise tag is July 17.
  • The Athletic’s Dan Duggan put together a fun exercise recently. Duggan enlisted the services of The Athletic’s Randy Mueller (former general manager of the Saints and Dolphins) and Joel Corry (who represented top athletes in a 16-year career as an agent). Duggan has Mueller and Corry work through a mock negotiation between Saquon Barkley and the Giants:

  • Sticking with the extensions theme, the Cowboys have some work ahead of them sooner than later. There are four significant contracts that the Cowboys will likely need to address over the next couple of years. Dak Prescott, Trevon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons will all be up for extensions in the next couple of seasons. Can Dallas manage to keep all of them?
  • Trevon Diggs is in the last year of his rookie contract, while CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott have two more seasons before they can become unrestricted free agents. On the other hand, Micah Parsons has three more seasons left due to the team’s ability to exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. According to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, Dallas feels like they can extend all four players:

“That group, we feel really good about,” Jones said on Wednesday. “I feel as we move forward it will all be about timing. But feel good that we can work within the parameters of the cap and make those types of things happen. And we have to continue to do well in the draft to make things like that happen. We have to continue to have guys step up and play, because along the way, if we want to do those (contracts) then we’ll have to make some tough decisions in other spots.”

  • Micah Parsons could demand a yearly salary in the same ballpark as Aaron Donald, at $32 million. Prescott will likely be in the $40-45 million annual range on his next deal. That’s $72-77 million per year between Parsons and Prescott, and they still have to figure out Diggs and Lamb, two more players at premium positions in the modern-day NFL. Still, Jones insisted that the Cowboys could make it work, calling it “doable.”

“It’s not daunting,” Jones said. “I think it’s doable. It’s just part of managing your football team, a part of managing the salary cap. But I certainly think it’s doable.”

  • Three months after successful surgery to repair a torn adductor, Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson has a clean bill of health.

  • Ah, the old “I was only kidding” defense. Adolescent kids everywhere are giving this one a slow golf clap and hat tip …

  • A fourth-place finish in the AFC North in 2022 has Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry feeling the heat. However, their approach to addressing their two most significant needs this offseason has been executed impressively.

  • Money Mitch landed an extension in Pittsburgh!

  • Sure …

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.