Barkley was one of three players, along with Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, to have received the franchise tag and not reach a long-term deal with their teams prior to 4:00 p.m. ET. All three running backs will instead play the 2023 season on their respective franchise tenders, which will be worth $10.09 million based on their position.
Pollard had already signed his tender, while Barkley and Jacobs have, instead, held out from their teams' offseason programs amid failed negotiations to reach new deals.
The Giants placed a non-exclusive franchise tag worth $10.091 million on Barkley in March as the two sides continued to negotiate on a long-term deal, with conversations dating back to the team's bye week last November. Giants co-owner John Mara said he spoke to Barkley during the offseason and claimed the running back expressed his desire to stay with the franchise for the remainder of his career at the time of the move.
“We had a very good conversation,” Mara said at the NFL's annual league meetings last month via Newsday. “I told him how much I wanted him here, wanted him to be a Giant. My dream is that he play his whole career as a Giant like Eli did, like Strahan did, like Tiki did. And I mentioned to him: Look what they're doing off the field now. I think he would like that as well.”
Barkley was selected by the Giants at No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft and had immediate success during his first season, winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and earning his first Pro Bowl selection. The former Penn State running back was, however, limited by injuries during his next three seasons, which included missing 14 games in 2020.
Barkley had a career resurgence in 2022, recording a career-best 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns on 295 rushing attempts, as well as 57 receptions for 338 yards, having been selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time, in 2022.