In a move expected by many, the New York Giants have elected not to put the franchise tag on star running back Saquan Barkley, making the 27-year-old a Free Agent.

General manager Joe Schoen had planned to meet with Barkley and his team while in Indianapolis for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. They did not, although Schoen told reporters, “He’s a guy we’d like to have back.”

The NY Giants used the franchise tag on Barkley last year, and neither wanted to go through the painful process again. Barkley played his sixth year in New York on a revised one-year contract. A 2024 tag would have cost $12.1 million, and they were unwilling to do that.

Despite missing three games in 2023, Barkley was effective and the NY Giants’ number 1 offensive weapon. He ran for 932 yards with six rushing touchdowns and added 41 receptions for 280 yards with four more touchdowns.

With the NFL raising the 2024 league salary cap to $255.4 million, the Giants have the money to retain Barkley.

Do they risk the money on a 27-year-old back with a history of injury?

” I think the world of Saquon, and I still think he can play,” Schoen said.