Sources – Week 1 is in jeopardy if there is no long term deal for Saquon Barkley

Jordan Raanan, ESPN Staff Writer July 12, 2023, 1:22 PM ET

CloseJordan Raanan is an NFL Nation reporter at ESPN. Raanan covered the New York Giants. You can follow him via Twitter @JordanRaanan.

Re-establishing Saquon Barkley’s availability for Week 1 will be in serious question if he does not reach a long-term agreement with the New York Giants by Monday, a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Barkley and the Giants have until 4 p.m. (EST) on Monday to finalize the deal. Otherwise, Barkley is not eligible to be re-signed until after the 2023 season.

As the deadline approaches, the two sides remain deadlocked, sources told ESPN.

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Barkley finished fourth in the NFL with 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He is also tied for leading the team with 57 receptions.

Overall pick No. 2 in 2018 has made it clear that the franchise label, which comes in at a whopping $10.1 million this season, is not wanted. Barkley said at Athletes Making Progress Together football camp last month that if he didn’t secure a long-term contract by July 17, he would at least consider staying out. He also added that he didn’t think much of it at the time.

This whole contractual situation doesn’t sit well with Barkley.

“I got tagged, am I mad about it? No one wants to be tagged,” Barkley said last month. “To sit here and say I’m frustrated, I’m angry, I’m annoyed, what really pisses me off are the stories that were leaked, how misleading they are, and how untrue they are.

“I feel like it’s trying to paint a narrative about me, my image, it’s not even true. It’s not even close to the truth.”

Trying to negotiate a new contract was an eye-opening experience.

“Realize that this is a business,” says Barkley.

Five days remain for the two sides to reach an agreement on a new deal. If that doesn’t happen, Barkley will have a big decision to make.

The last player to miss the entire season was also a defender, Le’Veon Bell in 2018.

History has not reflected well on that decision. Bell signed with the New York Jets the following season, but never regained his former form.

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