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Giants RB Saquon Barkley considering sitting out 2023 NFL season after failed contract talks

The All-Pro running back said he might not play the entire season for New York after posting big numbers and helping the team make the playoffs in 2022.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants reacts during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who failed to agree to a contract extension with the team while battling the franchise tag, said he would consider sitting out the entire 2023 NFL season. Barkley made the comments on the “Money Matters” podcast, saying he could potentially stick it to the Giants.

“My leverage is I could say, ‘f--- you’ to the Giants, I could say, ‘f--- you to my teammates,’” Barkley said on the show. “And be like, ‘You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I won’t show up. I won’t play a down.’ And that’s a play I could use.”

Barkley, 26, remains one of the most dynamic players on the field. When healthy, he’s been a force in the running and passing game. Last season, he rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns while also adding 338 receiving yards. Barkley said guaranteed money was a sticking point in contract negotiations with the Giants.

If Barkley sits out the entire season, the Giants would likely roll with Matt Breida as the starter. They could also go out and sign a free agent running back like Leonard Fournette or Ezekiel Elliott if they want a more established name leading the way.