Star running backs Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants and Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with their teams by the franchise tag extension deadline on Monday, per multiple reports.
Barkley and Jacobs are now expected to miss all of their respective training camps, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which they are allowed to do without fines as they have not signed their franchise tags, which are worth $10.091 million for the season.
They would lose game checks if they continue to hold out past training camp and miss regular-season games.
Both players were tagged earlier this offseason to avoid hitting the free-agent market, but this deadline by the NFL was always looming. Despite both players discussing terms with their teams, the low running back market didn’t help in finding common ground on extensions.
Moving forward, both teams are allowed to negotiate one-year deals with their respective running backs, but a multiyear contract cannot be signed.
The most notable holdout by a running back to date was Alvin Kamara with the New Orleans Saints. Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon did so in 2019, and of course, Le’Veon Bell’s infamous holdout from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 became a blueprint of how this could turn for the worse.
Bell ended up signing for less money with the New York Jets than what the Steelers initially offered, and he recently apologized to the fan base for doing so.
Barkley and the Giants were trying to get something done, but all recent reports said virtually the same thing: There was a lot of work to do.
According to NorthJersey.com and Giants Insider, the Giants raised Barkley’s guaranteed money as part of their long-term negotiations to $22 million, slightly higher than the $19.5 million that was reported, on Monday. However, the New York Post learned that it also lowered the average annual value of his contract as well.
Barkley and the Giants have not seen eye to eye on what he’s worth during negotiations, and his tweet about the situation summed things up perfectly.
“It is what it is,” he tweeted five minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline.
The Giants were able to reach long-term pacts with quarterback Daniel Jones and star interior lineman Dexter Lawrence this offseason.
But it’s no secret Barkley was a main reason why the Giants broke their playoff drought last season and upset the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round, scoring two touchdowns in the game.
Barkley finished the year with 1,312 rushing yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry on 295 attempts, with 10 touchdowns on the ground. He was also tied for receptions on the team with 57.
As for Jacobs, he was the NFL’s leading rusher last season with 1,653 yards as well as 2,053 scrimmage yards, which was also a league leader.
Like the Giants, the Raiders paid a quarterback this offseason, bringing in free agent Jimmy Garoppolo on a three-year, $72.75 million deal that turned many heads following the departure of Derek Carr from the organization.
Jacobs’ ability to wear down defenses and have the home-run play in his back pocket, similar to Barkley, makes him a vital piece of what the Raiders want to accomplish as well.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard also failed to reach a long-term deal, but he did sign his franchise tag for next season. So, he is expected to be there for the start of training camp.
For Barkley and Jacobs, big questions about what they want to do moving forward will be clouds over their organizations until they show their hand for the future.