multiple writers8 minute read
No First Team All-Pro joseph jacobs of the las vegas raiders not twice pro bowler saquon barkley of the New York Giants By agreeing to long-term deals before Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players, there’s a sense of familiarity to the procedures.
Both running backs would obviously prefer long-term contracts to the one-year, $10.091 million paycheck that comes with signing the tag, though now neither can negotiate a long-term deal with their teams until after the season due to who missed the Monday deadline. . And both, it seems, would have benefited from the other signing such a deal to restore the running back market after it tanked this offseason.
Jacobs led the NFL in rushing yards (1,653) and scrimmage yards (2,053) while scoring 12 rushing touchdowns and 53 catches last season. Barkley rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards, scored 10 rushing touchdowns and also caught 57 passes for 338 yards. He finished third in comeback player of the year voting.
Both seem poised for a payday, but the running back position has depreciated in recent years. So where do they, as well as the Raiders and Giants, go from here? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers, with New York Giants reporter Jordan Raanan, Las Vegas Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez, and NFL Senior National Reporter Jeremy Fowler breaking things down.
Why didn’t Barkley or Jacobs sign a long-term deal?
barkley: This is guaranteed money. The Giants offered Barkley various offers and packages that could have been close to $14 million per season, including incentives and all kinds of bonuses. But the sticking points were the guaranteed money and structure.
The magic number was $22.2 million. That’s the franchise tag amount this year ($10.1 million) and the potential for next year at $12.1 million. It’s usually what a player needs to even consider a deal on the tag. It doesn’t look like the Giants ever got there.
“Read Between the Lines”, Barkley kept saying last month when explaining his thoughts on how the contract situation was being presented publicly.
He was referring to the guaranteed money that prevented the two sides from reaching a long-term deal after nine months of haggling. — Jordan Raanan
Jacobs: Other than a few cryptic tweets, Jacobs remained relatively quiet about the situation during the offseason, though he did give a sneak peek of his feelings the day after the Raiders’ season ended, acknowledging I wanted to go back to Vegas albeit in a longer-term arrangement and with the security and, well, respect that it brings.
“To me,” he said at the time, “it has to make sense.” Like in dollars and cents, right? “But this is obviously where I want to be.” In June, Jacobs took to Twitter and described her mindset.
Jacobs, a first-round draft pick of former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock, did not have his fifth-year option taken last offseason by then-incoming coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. Jacobs gave the impression that he wanted to effect change to a system that financially undervalues his position group. But at what price? — Paul Gutierrez
What does this mean for the Giants and Raiders?
barkley: The Giants have to sit back and hope Barkley signs the franchise tag at some point and plays this season. They are trusting in it. His backfield without him is headlined by matt breida and Gary Brightwellwith fifth round rookie eric gray Also in the mix. That’s not what they envisioned when putting together this list.
General manager Joe Schoen said early in the offseason that using the franchise tag on Barkley was always one of the potential options. The Giants are perfectly fine going down that path, and there never seemed to be much of an urgency to sign Barkley once at quarterback. daniel jones he finalized his deal before the March deadline. That subsequently left the tag for the star running back.
What the Giants are betting on now is that playing hardball with the face of their franchise won’t divide their locker room. Barkley is one of the most respected players on the list. They’re crossing their fingers that this doesn’t create a distraction big enough to derail their season. — raanan
Jacobs: Jacobs’ productivity surprised McDaniels: the coach admitted that I was used to using a broker-by-committee approach, instead of leaning on a lower back. But even though the coach insisted that he was looking forward to Jacobs’ return, there’s a reason the Raiders literally didn’t make a move in their RB room this offseason. No additions. Without losses. All while we hold back seven backs — Zamir White, Brandon Bolden, amir abdullah, jakob johnson, brittany brown, candid mccormick and austin walter.
Whistle by the cemetery? Maybe, but if Jacobs hangs on and loses significant time or even sits out for the season, the Raiders feel they can lean on continuity at the job and at least try to hit and play and become a committee rusher. But… the returning production leaves a lot to be desired. TO batch be desired.
Consider: White, Bolden and Abdullah combined for 156 rushing yards and no TDs on 38 carries last season, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Jacobs averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 340 rushing attempts. Oh! — gutierrez
Are Barkley and/or Jacobs willing to waste time by not signing the label? If so, how much time could they waste?
barkley: It came out last week that Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys would do to be in danger if there was no long-term agreement before the deadline. Well, there’s no deal on the deadline, which means it’s unlikely we’ll see Barkley until at least September.
The opening game against Dallas is on September 10. The big question now is whether he’s fully available for the regular-season opener or whether he misses games to signal that the offense desperately needs him.
It’s clear that Barkley isn’t thrilled with the way this whole deal has played out, especially with the numbers leaking throughout. He thought that many of them were cheating and he painted it as “greedy”. There’s no way Barkley is going to show up to training camp and risk injury, considering the team never came to the table with enough guaranteed money to make him a Giant for life. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts, as it is contradictory to Barkley’s usual first-team rhetoric. — raanan
Jacobs: No doubt Jacobs would be left out. Look, he refused to sign the tag and was true to his word by staying away during the offseason…even when the Raiders made a “solid” change from his uniform number to college number 8 (he was wearing number 28 in his first four NFL seasons).
How long you sit out would, again, depend on how serious you are about proving your point while leaving money on the table. Taking a page out of Le’Veon Bell’s playbook would obviously be the nuclear option, but it might also be the only advantage the two-time Pro Bowler has going forward. — gutierrez
What does it take for each broker to get a new contract?
barkley: It doesn’t really matter at this point. The time for making a deal has passed. Now is the time to sit back and see what happens this season before the two sides can talk about a new deal. To make matters worse for Barkley, the team has another franchise tag to use on him again next year, if they choose.
It seems the only path to a new deal for Barkley is if he plays so extraordinarily well this season that the Giants feel they can’t afford to lose him under any circumstances. So far that has not been the case. He’d probably have to surpass last season’s 1,300-plus yards and be an MVP candidate. Otherwise, it looks like the ship has already sailed on Barkley and the Giants are a thing forever. — raanan
Jacobs: While Mark Davis is anything but a nosy owner, if he wanted Jacobs back to a multi-year contract that Jacobs found acceptable, it would have happened quickly. Yes, Jacobs has a fan in Davis, but the window for a multi-year contract is closed as they couldn’t reach a deal before Monday’s deadline.
“Josh is phenomenal, he was the heart of our team, in my opinion,” Davis said this offseason. “He came to play every day. Tough, tough, tough guy. Really proud of him. If we were 22 Josh Jacobs [on the roster] with that mentality, he came every day… that guy is just amazing.”
Also, Jacobs’ mentor, Hall of Famer marcus allen, has Davis’ ear and has already backed paying his protégé, which, of course, now can’t happen until after this season, if any ill feelings ease. Jacobs’ best bet for a multiyear contract from the Raiders would be another banner season, but the team could choose to franchise him again, leaving us in this same position 12 months from now. — gutierrez
Who are the other brokers keeping an eye on the market and who might get new deals over the next year?
Short term free agent dalvin cook may use all three franchise tag racers (including the Dallas Cowboys‘ tony pollard) as contract comparisons for eventual agreement. He should sign some time before the regular season.
jonathan taylor, a free agent in 2024, was probably rooting for Barkley or Jacobs to pull off an upset and get a deal done before the deadline as a way to raise his market. Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts they’ve had preliminary talks about a new deal, and Indy has a precedent for extending major contracts.
Young backs entering year 3, like the pittsburgh steelers‘ najee harris and Denver Broncos‘ javonte williamscould re-sign with their teams if they have big seasons in 2023. And the tennessee titans‘ derrick henry He’s 29, a year away from free agency and showing few signs of slowing down, even if his 1,750 career carries will catch up one day. — jeremy hunter