Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants do not have much time to finalize a long-term extension, and it appears as if Barkley might not play week one in that case. Could the talented RB be traded? The Giants would be fools to pay Saquon Barkley, in my opinion, but so would the Broncos, honestly.
However, the Giants and Broncos are in different situations, I think. The Giants shocked the world last year, winning nine games and winning a playoff game on the backs of Saquon Barkley and a stout and savvy Giants defense. Giants' Gm Joe Schoen decided to pay QB Daniel Jones $40 million per season in a ridiculous contract extension and decided to place the franchise tag on stud RB Saquon Barkley, who had a bounce-back season in 2022.
Well, the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign a long-term extension is this coming Monday, and sources indicate that Barkley may not suit up week one for the Giants if a deal is not done. The RB franchise tag is about $10 million, and Barkley doesn't seem to be too thrilled about playing on that price tag.
It would make the most sense for the Giants to trade Barkley-- paying running backs is a horrid idea and the Giants are clearly not done with their roster. They do have holes on the offensive line, at wide receiver, and in the secondary, and the last thing this team or any team should be worried about is paying a running back. That simply isn't the way to build a winning team and the evidence is right there.
Selfishly, though, I want the Denver Broncos to trade for Saquon Barkley because he'd make the team better, and Sean Payton has paid running backs before, (see: Alvin Kamara). So, let's create a few trade offers the Broncos could make for Barkley.
Denver Broncos: 3 trade ideas for disgruntled RB Saquon Barkley
I'm not sure this would be enough, but honestly, I don't think the New York Giants have a ton of leverage. Barkley could realistically sit out games if he wanted to. He'd lose money doing so, but if he's not being paid the way he wants, he could decide to not play, right? Le'Veon Bell did it several years ago, and it didn't really work out for him, especially considering the short shelf live of RBs in the NFL.
Perhaps the Giants want to capitalize on this window that might be open for them and want to find some sort of solution with Barkley. Well, what if the Broncos offered Javonte Williams, who looks ready to go for week one, and a mid-round pick in 2024? They'd have a low-cost running back for two more years of team control and a mid-round pick to perhaps find another running back if they don't want to move long-term with Williams.
Williams is a tougher runner than Barkley and definitely has the potential to be as productive as him. He's also a few years younger, which may align better with what the Giants are trying to do.