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Saquon Barkley wants to be Giants lifer like Eli Manning but says ‘I’m no fool anymore’ when it comes to future

saquon barkley, new york giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

While New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley would like to be a player who stays with the franchise for the rest of his career, he admits what he went through in negotiations with them last year has wisened him up to the fact that all good things come to an end.

This time last year was a tumultuous period in the career of Saquon Barkley. After earning Pro Bowl honors for the second time in 2022, the New York native was expecting to land the first major contract of his career in free agency. However, he and the team could never come to terms and they unhappily agreed to a revised deal that would see him make slightly more than that franchise tag value for running backs in 2023.

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It was an ugly situation that led to speculation of a trade and was another piece of evidence that running back value in the NFL is at a new low. With the season now in the books, the 26-year-old and the team will reenter negotiations on a long-term deal, and the Giants will again have the chance to slap the franchise tag on him.

Saquon Barkley: ‘What I’d love is to be like Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, and Tiki Barber’

saquon barkley, new york giants
Credit: USA Today Network

The organization’s desire to retain his services doesn’t seem as strong as it did last year after he had a down season in 2023. This means there is a good chance he could be playing elsewhere in 2024, and in a new interview, Saquon Barkley admitted he is now open to the idea of wearing a different uniform in a way he wasn’t before.

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“I have so much respect for the Mara family and the Tisch family and everyone in the Giants organization. They know that but once you get to this point, you go to your contract negotiation and you go through the tag process, you realize how much of a business it is. And I remember vets always telling me this and you know I believed them, but you don’t really know something until you go through it. So could I see myself in another uniform? Yeah, it’s possible.

“It’s rare for a guy to be on one team his whole career. But what I’d love is to be like Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, and Tiki Barber. Yeah, but at the same time, I’m not naive and I’m not, I’m not a fool anymore. I’m at ease that whatever happens, I would love for it to be done but if it can’t and I’m able to move on, I would love to go to a team where I can help them win the Super Bowl for sure.”

– Saquon Barkley (Complex interview)

Barkley made $11 million this past season. Under the terms of the revised one-year deal he agreed to in July, he could make just over $13 million if the team used the franchise tag on him again next season.

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