Monday’s deadline passed with none of the league’s three franchise-tagged running backs – Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants, Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys or Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Riders – signing a long-term contract.
All three must now play the upcoming season on their franchise tenders, worth just over $10 million for running backs.
What does the immediate future look like for all three?
Pollard has already signed his tender with the Cowboys. League insiders don’t feel there will be an issue with Jacobs signing his tender with Vegas. On the other hand, the situation with Barkley could get ugly real soon.
Sources close to the situation told me on Tuesday the Giants could have a real fight on their hands and they expect Barkley to hold out for a significant period of time. I’m told the running back is not just disappointed he was unable to strike a long term deal with the team but also hurt and Barkley feels disrespected.
It was no fault of General Manager Joe Schoen, according to those I spoke with.
Schoen was consistent from the get-go, telling the camps of Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones after the season while he hoped to get deals completed for both players, the more likely scenario was the team signing one player to an extended contract while the other would have to play under the franchise tag.
Where do Giants stand in Saquon Barkley negotiations?
I initially reported from Senior Bowl practices this past February the franchise was working on an extended deal with Barkley. But when Daniel Jones agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract on April 5, the chances of the Giants signing Barkley to a long term deal quickly diminished.
The Giants hope the situation does not become problematic. Barkley is someone players respond to.
His work ethic and approach to the game have been consistently applauded in the team’s locker room.
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