It has not been a foregone conclusion that the New York Giants would pick up the Saquon Barkley contract option for the 2022 season after his 2020 campaign ended two games in due to a torn ACL.
Giants general manager David Gettleman has been pretty standoffish as it relates to the subject even after surprisingly making the Penn State product the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With less than a week to go before the deadline to decide on 2022 contract options, the Giants have officially opted to guarantee Barkley’s deal for that season.
The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will now earn $7.22 million in 2022. As of right now, that would come in as the ninth-highest figure among backs in the league. Not too shabby for a youngster who was absolutely dominant throughout his first two NFL seasons.
Saquon Barkley, torn ACL and future with the New York Giants
The former All-American from Penn State registered a combined 3,469 total yards and 23 touchdowns at a clip of 5.6 yards per touch in 2018 and 2019 before missing the vast majority of last season with the aforementioned serious knee injury. That included Barkley leading NFL running backs in total yards as a rookie with 2,028.
At issue here is the torn ACL. We’ve seen other top-end running backs struggle regaining old form after suffering such a serious lower-body injury. As for Barkley, he’s expected to be back for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.
In terms of a long-term contract, the Giants are obviously in wait-and-see mode. They want to see how the stud young 24-year-old back returns from said injury before making a decision on this front. New York has time. That’s for sure.