With New York Giants defensive dynamo Dexter Lawrence having become the latest member of Big Blue to lock up a lucrative extension, it naturally shined a brighter light on running back Saquon Barkley's situation.
A day after Lawrence's extension was reported, the Pro Bowl defensive lineman expressed his confidence that Barkley would join him and quarterback Daniel Jones as Giants landing long-term pacts this offseason.
"I think Saquon is going to get what he deserves," Lawrence said Friday, via the team's transcript. "He's a great player. He's a great leader for us, one of the top players on the team. I'm excited to see what's up for him."
Prior to the news of "Sexy Dexy's" big deal on Thursday, Giants general manager Joe Schoen was on Good Morning Football talking about Barkley's contract situation.
"At some point over the next couple of days, we'll circle back up, and we'll have some conversations as to where we are, where they may be, and see if we can get something done," Schoen said.
Whether those talks lead to an extension obviously remains to be seen. As Schoen also noted, the two parties have to work out a deal beneficial to both sides.
The Giants previously applied the franchise tag to Barkley, who would make $10.091 million in 2023 on the one-year tender. He and New York have until July 17 to come to an agreement on an extension.
While Barkley emerged as a game-changing talent in his 2018 rookie season and then reclaimed that form in a 2022 renaissance, it's not his talent that's in questions, it's his positional value.
Barkley and fellow backs Josh Jacobs with the Las Vegas Raiders and Tony Pollard with the Dallas Cowboys were each saddled with franchise tags. Meanwhile in 2023 free agency, Miles Sanders joined the Carolina Panthers with a league-high free agency deal that averaged $6.35 million over four seasons. Heading into next season, just seven backs are set to make more on an annual average than the franchise tag (and Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook have each been mentioned as potential trade or cut candidates).
Bottom line, it's not the best of times for running backs' bank accounts.
As the Giants look to build up their core for future success under Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, Lawrence is hopeful that Barkley will get what he deserves just as he did. Problem is, the RB market is complicating matters.