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Giants could franchise tag Saquon Barkley under 1 circumstance?

Saquon Barkley takes off his helmet

Nov 28, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have some decisions to make about their core offensive players.

Both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are unrestricted free agents. The Giants are negotiating with Jones on a potential long-term deal, but at last check, the sides were far apart. That means Jones could end up receiving a franchise tag from the team.

However, if Jones and the Giants agree on a long-term deal, that could have implications for Barkley.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said Thursday from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that if the Giants reach an agreement with Jones, they would then use the franchise tag on Barkley.

There are some reasons why the Giants would have hesitancy over signing Jones long term. Though the team went 9-7-1 and made the playoffs under his leadership last season, he’s just not a big passing threat. He averages around 200 yards passing per game and threw for 15 touchdowns. His big value came on the ground where he rushed for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. Eventually, quarterbacks have to prove they can throw consistently in order to win, and Jones hasn’t exactly proven that.

The Giants also might have hesistancy to sign Barkley long term given his injury history and the overall lack of value coming from the running back position. Using a franchise tag on Barkley in order to get another prime year from him would work, but that could be a problem if the tradeoff is signing Jones long-term first.

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