Two-time Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley was unwilling to comment Sunday on his future with the New York Giants, who have designated him with a franchise tag this offseason.
Barkley, who has 4,249 rushing yards, 1,820 receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns over five seasons, has not signed the franchise tag, allowing for the possibility that he may not play this season.
Barkley wants a long-term contract, and the deadline for teams to sign longer contracts with tagged players is July 17.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about respect,” Barkley said. “It really is what it is.”
A more immediate consequence of not being under contract is that Barkley will miss the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think they’re open to talking. I’m open to talking,” Barkley said. “If you really break it down and look at it as a whole, there’s no rush. There’s still time on the table to get to July 17. July 17 isn’t tomorrow. It’s not not in a week.
“Maybe that’s the naive way of looking at it, I could be completely wrong. … Hopefully. I have faith in the Giants that we could do something.”
Several outlets reported earlier this year that Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, turned down multi-year offers starting at $12.5 million per season last season, then progressively higher offers of $13 million and later $13 million plus incentives that might be worth another $1 million.
The New York Daily News reported that Barkley wanted $16 million per season, similar to what 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey makes.