Saquon Barkley Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The 4 p.m. Eastern deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag has come and gone, and Saquon Barkley doesn’t have a new contract. Instead, the New York Giants will place the tag on their star running back.

The decision doesn’t come lightly after the Giants enjoyed their best season since before Barkley was even drafted. New York went to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 in 2022. They won a playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings and ultimately fell to NFC Champion Philadelphia in the Divisional Round. Barkley enjoyed massive success and was a key cog for the team.

But obviously, the two sides were unable to come to terms on a long-term extension. Similarly, the Las Vegas Raiders were unable to come to an agreement with Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs. It’s a tough day for running backs.

Barkley eventually weighed in on the decision shortly after the deadline passed.

“It is what it is,” Barkley said.

The Giants drafted Saquon No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s rushed for 4,249 career rushing yards and 29 touchdowns in 60 games with the Giants. Last season, he ran for 1,312 yards on 295 carries and scored 10 touchdowns. He was named the 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and has been named to two Pro Bowls.

Barkley ranks sixth all-time on the Giants rushing leaderboard for career rushing yards.

[Saquon Barkley]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022