Giants' Barkley would consider sitting out season over contract dispute
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is open to sitting out the 2023 season if the two sides cannot agree on a long-term contract extension.
"I think that's a conversation," Barkley said, according to Kevin Patra of NFL Network. "Like you said, that's a card I could play. That comes up in conversation if something don't get done by July 17."
Barkley and the Giants have until that date to agree on a contract extension or the star running back will have to sign the franchise tag worth $10.1 million.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell sat out the 2018 season on the franchise tag. Bell signed a four-year, $52.5-million contract with the New York Jets the following offseason but went on to rush for just 863 yards in 17 career games with the team.
"I think when you sit back and you look at it, obviously there is the situation where it happened with Le'Veon, and some people say it didn't work out for him or whatever," Barkley said.
He added: "I would have to sit down and actually go through that whole process and think about that whole process when that situation comes up, if it comes up. For me, it's like, you got until July 17. They could say what they want. We can say what we want."
The 26-year-old Barkley accounted for 1,650 yards on 352 touches last season, earning his second Pro Bowl selection.
Barkley has been with the Giants since being selected second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
"I want to be a Giant for life," Barkley said. "This is where I want to be, and at the end of the day, it's all about respect. That's really what it is."