NFL players have until 4pm Monday to sign their franchise tags or negotiate new contracts. Few teams may have as much riding on this deadline as the New York Giants.

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In the next few days, general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll may have a better picture whether or not they are sailing into year-two of their tenure or if they will be clinging to life-vests, literally.

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Running back, Saquon Barkley and the Giants are now against the clock in their contract negotiations. Barkley is considering a hold-out. The Pro Bowler ran for 1312 yards and rushed for 10 touchdowns in 2023 and told Pat Leonard of nydailynews.com in June, “It’s all about respect.That’s really what it is.” That and about a two-million a year on top of what the Giants are offering. But if they can't agree on a contract, what are the Giants' options?

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This past year in the NFL, more than any in the past, the running back position became de-valued. Superstar backs, Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliot were outright released by the Vikings and Cowboys because the value of their contracts exceeded the value that position brings to the team. If Barkley decides to hold-out, perennial back-up Matt Breida would most likely get the bulk of the snaps, followed by 5th round draft pick Eric Gray out of Oklahoma. That combination doesn't exactly scream playoffs. But, don't count on Barkely holding out for the season. Look-up Le Veon Bell and you will know why.

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Barkley's best move right now, is to convince the Giants to guarantee him a little more money than he would get from being put on the franchise tag this year and next, which is $22 million. If Barkley wants much more than that, the Giants should let Barkley hold-out. Will that have huge effect on the results of this season? Absolutely. However, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have a long-term plan to get this franchise to another Super Bowl. Overpaying for a position, that has less value in the NFL these days, is not part of any well-thought-out plan. However, if Schoen and Barkley find that sweet spot ($28 million guaranteed is my guess), well then, 2023 could be another special year. We will certainly know more by Monday.

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