Brandon Jacobs on Extending Saquon Barkley: ‘You’ve Got to Put Up 9 Million Yards’

Brandon Jacobs Weighs in On Saquon Barkley's Contract Situation

Getty Giants Super Bowl Champion Brandon Jacobs

It’s only a matter of time before New York Giants‘ all-world running back secures the bag and becomes one of the highest-paid players at his position. However, his performance in 2020 will have a drastic correlation to where his salary ranks on the hierarchy of elite NFL running back contracts.

2x-Super Bowl Champion and former Giants standout Brandon Jacobs is all too familiar with the league’s unwillingness to dole out the big money when it comes to the running back position. This is why he believes that this coming season will be “very important” for Barkley’s hopes of landing a big-time deal. 

“This year is very important. It’s his third season and he’s getting close to that contract year, and being a running back in that contract year, you’ve got to put up nine million yards in order to get something that’s worth having,” Jacobs stated on MSG 150.

Barkley is entering the third year of his rookie deal, meaning the Giants have the option of extending the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year following the completion of this coming season, as noted by Jacobs.

“This is one of those years where they can re him up by the end of the year or take him into next year and do it. But he’s definitely close and he definitely needs to have a good season.”

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The Earlier the Better on Barkley’s Extension

Theoretically, Big Blue could wait until after the 2022 season to hand Barkley a contract extension. However, expect that time frame to be drastically sped up.

While Barkley may not produce the “nine million yards” Jacobs comically tossed out, the running back’s importance to the Giants’ offense is unparalleled. Barkley is hands-down New York’s most lethal weapon, on the ground as well as through the air. Plus, his presence is crucial to fast-tracking Daniel Jones’ development into a bonafide starter in this league.

The biggest concern, and quite frankly, the only concern of handing Barkley a massive extension would be injury questions. Barkley was limited to just 13 games in 2019 due to a high-ankle sprain. With that said, he still managed to produce over 1,000 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns. He’s never previously shown a proclivity for injury and barring a freak accident it will likely not be an issue moving forward.

Most importantly, should the Giants re-up the 23-year-old Barkley following this season, he would be just 27-years-old at the conclusion of a four-year deal, a crucial aspect in contract negotiations considering the shelf-life of most NFL running backs.

The Athletic’s Dan Duggan took a swing at projecting Barkley’s extension back in June, ultimately landing on a 4-year, $70 million deal. This projection would certainly be a hefty price tag to place on a running back. However, it’s well worth the investment on a young, generational talent such as Barkley.