After a dominant rookie season, it appeared as if Barkley would set the standard in the RB market. Injuries derailed that trajectory, but a resurgent 2022 season has the Giants back positioned for hefty raise.
It seemed as if Saquon Barkley was destined for greatness the second he took the field for the New York Giants. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft didn’t disappoint during his rookie season, leading all offensive players in yards from scrimmage.
However, after his rookie year, Saquon saw change across the board — coaches, quarterbacks, front office. But what delayed his superstardom was an ankle injury in 2019 and then an ACL tear one year later. He spent the 2021 season getting his feet wet again, but he still hadn’t broken out into the player we saw dominate his rookie season.
This season, however, he reminded everyone who he is, instantly reclaiming his place as the face of the New York Football Giants, who by the way, ended a six-year playoff drought thanks to his dominance. He finished the season fourth in the NFL in total yards and yards per game, with only one fumble in 16 games played.
With $7.2 million in guaranteed money owed to him this season, the Giants picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract in April 2021. In November, the Giants opened up extension talks with Barkley, but they didn’t reach an agreement, as NFL insiders reported that the former No. 2 overall pick wants to be compensated as “one of the highest-paid backs in football.” The stalemate gives the Giants two options if they want him back — either pay him large or give him the franchise tag in March.
He’s an unrestricted free agent after this season, and New York should know well enough that a superstar like Saquon doesn’t come around often. With all this being said, let’s see what the market value is saying for the 25-year-old.
What is Saquon Barkley’s 2023 Market Value?
Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.
In Saquon’s case, the analytics show that he’d be right up there with the highest-paid backs in the game, the way he demanded in November. However, it’s a little difficult to say what he’ll get concretely considering the fact that we haven’t seen Joe Schoen make any significant money moves since taking over as general manager.
Projecting the size of a Saquon Barkley contract extension:
- By Spotrac’s estimates, a first Saquon Barkley contract extension is pegged at four years, $47,787,964. That would rank No. 8 among running backs in terms of total value.
- His average annual salary is projected at $11,946,991, which would rank ninth among RBs.
Comparable RBs by Value
Comparable RBs by Stats
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As we mention with most of the market value pieces, a player’s value can fluctuate based on how much revenue the league brings in and how much more teams are allowed to spend next year. That said, the G-Men may not want to mess around by letting Saquon test the open waters.
Furthermore, the figure seems low because that’s simply what it is for the running back market in 2023. He’ll likely get more than what the market indicates (as he should). Expect an interesting offseason for the G-Men — Saquon and Daniel Jones are both due for paydays. If they can’t come to an agreement, they can prolong the process by giving one of the two the franchise tag.
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