Superstar running back Saquon Barkley is at a crossroads with the New York Giants, contemplating the possibility of sitting out the entire 2023 season after failing to reach a long-term extension agreement with the team before the 4 p.m. deadline last Monday.
In an eye-opening interview on the popular “The Money Matters” podcast on YouTube, Barkley openly discussed his options and frustrations. He revealed that he’s considered the idea of using his leverage to send a strong message to the Giants and his teammates, saying, “I could say, ‘F you’ to the Giants, I could say, ‘F you’ to my teammates… You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down.”
For someone known for his dedication and commitment, this is an unexpected turn of events. Barkley acknowledged that he never thought he would contemplate such a drastic step, but he’s now considering it as a potential strategy. He stressed the need to consult with his family and advisers to make a rational decision, as emotions alone can’t dictate his next move. While financial gains matter, his ultimate goal is winning, and he believes bringing a championship to New York would far outweigh any contract value.
This situation is reminiscent of Le’Veon Bell’s standoff with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. Bell held out the entire season, and it eventually led to his departure from the Steelers. He joined the New York Jets in 2019 on a four-year, $52.5 million contract, similar to what he had sought in Pittsburgh.
If Barkley decides to sit out, it would be a significant blow to the Giants. The team is coming off a promising 2022 season, making it to the playoffs under the guidance of head coach Brian Daboll, who had an impressive debut year. Barkley played a pivotal role in the team’s resurgence, amassing a career-high 1,312 yards last season. His performance ranked fourth in the entire NFL, and it was the highest rushing yardage by a Giants player since Tiki Barber’s 1,662 yards back in 2006.
As fans anxiously await Barkley’s decision, the Giants’ front office must be brainstorming ways to bridge the gap and find common ground with their star running back. Losing Barkley for an entire season would be a significant setback for the team, both on the field and in the eyes of their devoted supporters.
It remains to be seen whether Barkley will follow through on his bold stance or if negotiations will resume and lead to a resolution before the upcoming season. Giants fans are undoubtedly hoping that Barkley’s passion for the game and his desire to win will ultimately prevail, allowing him to continue dazzling the NFL world with his incredible talent in the iconic blue and white jersey.