The New York Giants and franchise running back Saquon Barkley failed to reach a long-term contract extension before the deadline to do so this past Monday. Barkley, who is set to earn $10.091 million this season after the Giants played the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, has no plans on arriving at training camp anytime soon.
In fact, Barkley has other options besides playing this season under what he views as an unfavorable contract. And he said recently that he has the leverage to say “[screw] you” to the Giants and his teammates, though he did admit that it’s not a path he’s inclined to take.
Even with those recent comments, he has the support of his teammates. New York Giants defensive back Xavier McKinney showed support towards Barkley, amid the running back’s holdout, during an interview with CBS Sports radio host Jim Rome on The Jim Rome Show Saturday.
“For me, I’ve talked to him, and regardless of any decision that he makes, whether he’s there or whether he’s not here, I respect it 100 percent,” McKinney told Rome, via the New York Post. “I’m behind him 100 percent. I wouldn’t have no hard feelings, no nothing towards him whatever decision that he decides. Obviously, we want him to be there but if he can’t, we understand that as well. I think that’s not just for me but that goes for a lot of guys in our locker room.
“I just don’t want that to be the narrative — if he decides not to come, then nobody’s gonna be mad.”
It remains to be seen how much longer Barkley is willing to hold out. In any event, he now has the public support of one of his teammates, and a key defensive piece at that.