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Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard all find themselves without new contracts!

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

The NY Giants find themselves embroiled in a contract dispute with their star running back, Saquon Barkley. With the team opting not to extend Barkley's contract and the player refusing to sign the franchise tender, the situation has left the Giants' future in a state of uncertainty. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind the Giants' decision and Barkley's choice, analyzing the potential implications for both parties involved.

The Giants' Perspective:

Saquon Barkley burst onto the NFL scene in 2018 as a rookie sensation, showcasing his extraordinary talent and playmaking ability. He did struggle with injuries in both 2020 and 2021, but he was able to have a resurgence in 2022, where he rushed for 1,312 yards on 295 carries and 10 rushing touchdowns. In the air, he was just as effective and was a huge reason why the Giants made the playoffs with 338 yards through the air. Daniel Jones also had a great year and got a huge contract extension in the offseason. The Giants chose not to offer Barkley a contract extension ahead of the 2023 season. The decision likely stems from a combination of factors, including Barkley's injury history and the team's desire to assess his performance and durability before committing to a long-term deal. The Giants may be concerned about allocating significant financial resources to a player who has struggled with injuries in both 2020 and 2021.

The Running Back Conundrum: Why the Giants Hesitated on Extending Saquon Barkley:

The New York Giants' decision not to offer a new contract to star running back Saquon Barkley has sent shockwaves throughout the NFL community. The reluctance to commit to a long-term deal with Barkley shines a light on the evolving landscape of the league, where teams are becoming increasingly cautious about handing out substantial contracts to running backs. In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in how NFL teams approach the running back position in contract negotiations. Historically, star running backs were among the highest-paid players in the league, with lucrative deals that reflected their importance to their respective teams' offenses.
However, a series of cautionary tales emerged as some running backs struggled to maintain their elite level of play and durability as they aged. Long-term deals with substantial guaranteed money became a burden for some teams, hindering their ability to address other positions and maintain salary cap flexibility. This led to a growing sentiment among NFL front offices that investing heavily in running backs may not be the most prudent financial decision, especially when considering the short shelf life of the position and the increased emphasis on passing offenses.

Barkley's Stance:

Barkley is a generational talent at the running back position, finds himself in a difficult position due to the Giants' decision. Declining to sign the franchise tender, Barkley aims to secure a long-term deal that reflects his skills and value to the team. He likely believes that signing the franchise tag would limit his potential earnings and leave him without long-term security.
Barkley's decision is not uncommon among NFL players seeking fair compensation and stability. By withholding his signature, Barkley places pressure on the Giants to reconsider their stance and engage in contract discussions. However, this standoff could potentially affect Barkley's standing with the team and his overall relationship with the organization.

The Implications:

The Giants' choice not to extend Barkley's contract and his refusal to sign the franchise tender raise significant questions about the team's long-term plans. Should Barkley have another great season, the Giants risk losing their star player to free agency or having to pay a premium to retain him.
For Barkley, his decision not to sign the franchise tender places his future with the Giants in jeopardy. If the stalemate continues, it could lead to a strained relationship between the player and the team, affecting his performance and potentially resulting in a trade or release.
Ultimately, both parties have much at stake in resolving this contract dispute. The Giants face the challenge of balancing their financial responsibilities while maximizing Barkley's talent, while Barkley himself seeks a deal that recognizes his abilities and provides stability. Only time will tell how this saga unfolds and whether the Giants and Barkley can find common ground.

Josh Jacobs and the Raiders: Franchise Tag Dilemma Leaves Running Back and Team in Contract Dispute

The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves entangled in a contract dispute with their star running back, Josh Jacobs. Opting to franchise tag Jacobs, the team aimed to retain his services for the upcoming season. However, Jacobs' decision not to sign the tag has created a standoff, forcing him to play on the tender.

The Raiders' Perspective:

Josh Jacobs, drafted by the Raiders in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, quickly established himself as a valuable asset to the team. With impressive performances and a strong work ethic, Jacobs solidified his role as the Raiders' primary running back. The franchise tag was a means for the team to secure Jacobs for the upcoming season while they continued contract negotiations. The Raiders' decision to utilize the franchise tag can be attributed to several factors. First, it allows the team to retain Jacobs' services for the season without committing to a long-term contract immediately. This provides the Raiders with flexibility to assess Jacobs' performance, health, and consistency before making a significant financial commitment. Additionally, the franchise tag enables the team to avoid the risk of losing Jacobs to free agency.

Jacobs' Stance:

By choosing not to sign the franchise tag, Josh Jacobs aims to negotiate a long-term deal that better reflects his value and contribution to the team. He likely believes that the franchise tag does not adequately compensate him and limits his earning potential in the long run. Jacobs' decision to play on the tender forces the Raiders to reevaluate their stance and engage in contract discussions. Jacobs' desire for a more lucrative contract is understandable given his productivity and impact on the field. As a running back, he faces a shorter career span compared to players in other positions. Thus, securing a long-term deal that provides financial security is of utmost importance. The Alabama product lead the League in rushing yards last season with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns. As well as the leading the NFL with rushing yards, he also had the longest rushing touchdown of the year.

The Implications:

The Raiders' franchise tag and Jacobs' refusal to sign it create uncertainty for both the player and the team. If the standoff continues, it may strain the relationship between Jacobs and the Raiders, potentially affecting his on-field performance and overall morale. The absence of a long-term contract also leaves the door open for trade possibilities, should the team feel it necessary to explore other option. For the Raiders, the situation may complicate their plans for the upcoming season. Without a long-term commitment from Jacobs, the team faces potential distractions and uncertainties surrounding the running back position. It also poses the risk of losing Jacobs to free agency in the future, should he excel during the season and attract significant interest from other teams.

Franchise Tag:

The franchise tag standoff between Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders highlights the complexities of contract negotiations in the NFL. The team's decision to utilize the tag reflects their desire to retain Jacobs while maintaining flexibility for future negotiations. However, Jacobs' refusal to sign the tag puts pressure on the Raiders to reassess their approach and engage in contract discussions. Both Jacobs and Barkley will likely not attend training camp. Both are expected to miss training camp as they will not be fined unless they start missing regular season games. They will both only lose out on checks for each game that they miss.

Tony Pollard's Last-Minute Decision: Cowboys Franchise Tag Running Back, Secures Contract with Tender Signing

For the other RB that needed a new deal was Tony Pollard. However, instead of not signing the tender, he did the opposite. In a last-minute twist, the Dallas Cowboys franchise tagged running back Tony Pollard ahead of the NFL's deadline, aiming to retain his services for the upcoming season. To the relief of the team and its fans, Pollard ultimately signed the tender on Monday, solidifying his place on the roster.

The Cowboys' Perspective:

Tony Pollard, a versatile running back drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, has steadily impressed with his explosive playmaking ability and contributions on offense and special teams. As the 2022 season concluded, Pollard's contract status became a focal point for the Cowboys' front office.
By utilizing the franchise tag on Pollard, the Cowboys ensured that they would retain his services for the upcoming season. This move offers the team additional time to evaluate Pollard's performance and assess his long-term value to the franchise. The franchise tag guarantees him a one-year contract at a predetermined salary based on the average of the top players at his position. He will make 10.1 million this season and will be the full-time starter after the Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott.

Pollard's Signing:

While the franchise tag offered Pollard a one-year contract, the player's decision to sign the tender before the deadline demonstrated his commitment to the Cowboys and a desire to continue his career with the team. By doing so, Pollard ensured his place on the roster for the upcoming season and secured the financial benefits associated with the franchise tag.
Pollard's decision to sign the tender signals his willingness to play under the tag and contribute to the Cowboys' offense and special teams in the upcoming season. It also reflects his belief in his own abilities and the opportunity to showcase his skills in a prominent role with the team.


The signing of the franchise tag by Tony Pollard has several implications for both the player and the Dallas Cowboys. Firstly, it provides stability to the Cowboys' running back position. Pollard's versatility and explosiveness make him an asset in various offensive schemes and a valuable contributor on special teams. For Pollard, playing under the franchise tag allows him to showcase his abilities in a prominent role and potentially enhance his value in future negotiations. It also presents an opportunity for him to take on an expanded workload and demonstrate his capability as a starting-caliber running back, which could open doors for him in the future, whether with the Cowboys or other teams. Last season, Pollard rushed for 1,007 yards on 193 carries for 9 scores.


In conclusion, the contract situations of Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs, who opted not to sign their franchise tenders, have underscored the complexities and cautious approach NFL teams are taking toward investing in star running backs. Their decisions reflect the changing landscape of the league, where teams are becoming more conscious of the short shelf life of running backs and the potential risks of substantial long-term deals. On the other hand, Tony Pollard's decision to sign his franchise tag with the Dallas Cowboys solidifies his position on the roster for the upcoming season, providing stability to the team's running back position. As the 2023 NFL season unfolds, these contrasting scenarios will continue to shape the dynamics of player contracts and the value assigned to running backs across the league.

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