New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen revealed Monday that the club and running back Saquon Barkley « weren’t really that close » in contract talks during the season.
« Saquon is a good player. He’s a good teammate. I loved getting to know him this season, and he’s a guy that we would like to have back. It’s just – again, we haven’t had our end-of-season meetings yet, » Schoen told reporters Monday, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. « We’re less than 48 hours after that game, so everybody’s going to step back, take the emotion out of it, evaluate the roster, and then, again, we have to operate under the salary cap with how we’re going to divvy up, how we’re going to create the roster, what at the priority positions and how are we going to move forward. But, we would like to have Saquon back if it works out. »
Schoen spoke two days after the Giants were thrashed 38-7 in Saturday’s prime-time playoff game at the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Schoen teased heading into New York’s bye after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 30 that he would explore contract extensions for Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones before the Giants got back to work ahead of the Week 10 clash versus the Houston Texans. However, Jones later said that « there were no contract talks between the organization and his representatives prior to Schoen’s self-imposed deadline. »
Barkley entered September with a worrisome injury history but played in 16 games and a pair of postseason contests. According to ESPN, the 25-year-old finished the regular season fourth among all players with 1,312 rushing yards and 295 carries. He also contributed 10 rushing scores and 338 receiving yards.
Following Saturday’s crushing defeat, Barkley hinted he could give the Giants a hometown discount as both he and Jones are in the final months of their rookie contracts. Some, such as CBS Sports’ Dan Schneier, have already suggested Big Blue should think twice before offering the ball-carrier a lucrative second pro deal.