The New York Giants and running back Saquon Barkley have been on hold this offseason regarding a new contract.
On Thursday, Barkley visited Temple/St. Luke's Medical School in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania, and discussed where he and the Giants currently stand regarding negotiations on a new deal.
"Where do I stand with the Giants right now? It's like what someone said the other day … it's still April," Barkley said, via The Morning Call’s Keith Groller. "I haven't had conversations with (Giants general manager) Joe (Schoen) too much. So the best way I can handle it is to keep working. Whatever happens, happens.
"There are things I can't really control right now. All I can control is how I will wake up every morning and stay with my goals and my passion. Even though I may not be with the team right now and not in the building, I don't think anyone with the Giants is concerned about my work ethic and my teammates aren't worried about how I'm preparing."
Schoen said last week that “nothing’s changed” in the team's discussions for a long-term deal with Barkley.
In March, the Giants placed the $10.091 million franchise tag on Barkley. Both sides have until July 17 to come to a multi-year deal agreement. If not, the two-time Pro Bowl RB will play on the one-year tender this season. As Barkley has not signed the tender, the running back is not yet available to participate in offseason workouts with the team.
Last season, Barkley had a career-high year with 295 rush attempts and 1,312 rushing yards for Big Blue. With Barkley fully healthy and quarterback Daniel Jones having his best season in Brian Daboll's first year as head coach, New York made its first playoff appearance since 2016.
"It's hard because the end goal wasn't accomplished," Barkley said of the 2022 season. "You strive to win a Super Bowl and obviously we came up short in the division and in the playoffs and who we lost to definitely didn't help either with it being Philly. It wasn't so much that I was proud of myself. It was just confirming everything that I knew. I knew the player was still there, but it's easier to say it.
"You've got to go out there and show it, and God blessed me and kept me healthy, and we have some tremendous coaches and tremendous teammates and they put me in position to be successful. I was able to prove to not only myself, but to everyone that the player is still there. And now I feel I'm young still at 26 and I'm just starting to get into my prime."
After battling injuries in 2020 and 2021, the Giants' star running back hopes for an even better 2023 campaign than his return to form last season.
"There's still a version of 26 that a lot of people haven't seen," Barkley said.