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What did the Giants offer Saquon Barkley? ‘Hard Knocks’ reveals New York’s free-agent contract negotiations with star RB | Sporting News Canada

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What did the Giants offer Saquon Barkley? ‘Hard Knocks’ reveals New York’s free-agent contract negotiations with star RB | Sporting News Canada

“Hard Knocks” has allowed a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the NFL since it first aired in 2001, but the program is still trying to innovate as it endures.

For 2024, that innovation included a new iteration of the show — “Hard Knocks: Offseason” — that is highlighting the trials and tribulations of the New York Giants’ offseason.

One of the Giants’ biggest losses during the 2024 offseason was running back Saquon Barkley. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft left New York to join the division rival Eagles on a three-year contract.

That Barkley left wasn’t a stunning decision. The Giants appear to be mired in a rebuild as they look to reshape their offense — and consider a change at quarterback amid Daniel Jones’ struggles.

Still, New York knew Barkley was its best offensive player during the 2023 season, so there was some hope they could bring the star back. However, as “Hard Knocks” revealed, the Giants weren’t decisive when offering the veteran back a contract.

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What did the Giants offer Saquon Barkley?

The Giants didn’t appear to make a formal offer to Barkley, at least not before letting the running back hit the open market.

“Hard Knocks” showed a conversation in which New York general manager Joe Schoen told Barkley’s agent, Ed Berry, that he didn’t know how to assess the running back’s market value. That’s why they let him find out for himself.

“I’m torn, Ed, because I still think he can play, and I think he can help us,” Schoen said. “But I didn’t wanna comment on numbers. I don’t have a great idea where the market is. That’s why I’m gonna let the league tell him what it is and, hey, if you wanna come back and be a Giant, let’s try to find something that makes sense. If we’re close, then let’s have a conversation, because again, I do think he was our best offensive player.”

After their conversation, Schoen phoned Barkley and communicated the Giants’ plan to their offensive star.

“I think mulling over this, the right thing to do is let you test the market and see what your value is,” Schoen told Barkley. “I don’t wanna do the franchise thing again or all that stuff again. I don’t wanna go through that. We’ve both been through that.

“If you really wanna be a Giant for life, and you’re interested in staying here and coming back, just see what your market is, have Ed come back to us and we’ll see if we can come to an agreement.”

Barkley didn’t seem too pleased with the plan, especially when Schoen asked for Barkley’s word that he would come back and communicate his top offers to the Giants.

“I mean, I already told you where I wanna be,” Barkley said.

It isn’t clear whether Barkley let the Giants know the value of his top offers. Either way, he landed in Philadelphia and is set to play New York twice per season with the Eagles, who are favored to win the NFC East.

MORE: Which Giants defender could break out in 2024?

Saquon Barkley contract details

Barkley signed a three-year contract with the Eagles worth up to $37.75 million, per Spotrac.com. The deal will take him through his age 29 season and will allow him to hit the market as he turns 30 years old.

Barkley’s deal also comes with four void years, which are meant to lower his salary cap hit throughout his contract.

The Giants could have found a way to pay Barkley, but they instead opted to give Devin Singletary a three-year contract worth up to $16.5 million while drafting Tyrone Tracy Jr. from Purdue in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

That rotation will be cheaper than Barkley, but those two backs are unlikely to match the output the Giants star produced with the team. He averaged 1,680 touches and 11 touchdowns per 17 games played during his time in New York.

The Giants may sorely miss Barkley’s presence, given that they are lacking high-end offensive weapons outside of 2024 first-round pick Malik Nabers at wide receiver.

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