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New York Giants ‘cautiously optimistic’ Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones sign long-term contracts

The New York Giants ended one of the longest NFL playoff droughts thanks to breakout seasons from quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. With both players poised to become two of the top NFL free agents in 2023, New York is under pressure to bring its stars back for next season and beyond.

Both parties are interested in long-term deals. Barkley wants to finish his career in a Giants’ uniform and Jones fits perfectly in Brian Daboll’s offense. However, league revenue is skyrocketing and with it comes massive salaries for the highest-paid NFL players.

Jones wants to become one of the highest-paid NFL quarterbacks and Barkley is seeking a long-term extension that puts him amongst his peers in terms of salary and guaranteed money. It’s the biggest storyline of the Giants’ offseason, with fans waiting for updates on how contract negotiations are going with the team’s most important players.

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Asked about the team’s contract talks with Jones and Barkley, Giants’ general manager Joe Schoen said he is cautiously optimistic both players will sign long-term deals. He also shared the organization’s desire to avoid using the franchise tag.

“If you have to franchise tag Daniel, I don’t think that’s best for the organization or best for Daniel.”

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen on franchise tagging Daniel Jones

However, the second-year general manager made it clear Jones will be back in 2023 no matter what. If the two sides haven’t made substantial progress by March 7, they will use the franchise tag on their quarterback.

  • Saquon Barkley stats (2022): 1,650 scrimmage yards, 10 total touchdowns, 4.4 ypc

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Addressing reporters at the NFL Combine, Schoen said the team is “a little bit closer” on an extension with Barkley. However, he also made it clear there is a price the team won’t pay.

“You have to draw a line in the sand like, ‘we’re not going any further, and if he goes past this, let’s shift to plan B.’ Hopefully, we don’t get to that.”

Joe Schoen on New York Giants contract talks with Saquon Barkley

Jones is essentially guaranteed to return next season thanks to the franchise tag. While the franchise wants to avoid it, their quarterback’s asking price and his new agent make a long-term extension more unlikely. If the tag is used on Jones, New York is at risk of losing Barkley.

Related: New York Giants, Saquon Barkley facing ‘clear gap’ in negotiations

The Giants offered the Pro Bowl running back a multi-year extension with a $12 million average annual value during the regular season. While it would put him toward the top of the highest-paid running backs, it’s well short of the $16 million AAV pulled in by Christian McCaffrey.

Barkley and the Giants remain apart at the negotiating table, but talks are ongoing. If the Giants are willing to offer a multi-year extension with a $14 million AAV, making Barkley one of the five highest-paid running backs, he’ll likely be back next season.

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