New York Giants Pro Bowler Predicted to Get Paid Like Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry

Getty The New York Giants are tipped to pay Saquon Barkley on a par with Tennessee Titans' running back Derrick Henry.

Saquon Barkley wants to be paid like one of the top running backs in the NFL, so he should welcome the New York Giants using Derrick Henry as the benchmark in contract talks.

It hasn’t happened yet, but Ted Nguyen of The Athletic spoke with a couple of contract experts who believe the Giants will get a deal done with their franchise-tagged Pro Bowler. When they do, the terms will look a lot like what workhorse Henry receives from the Tennessee Titans.

Henry earns around $12.5 million annually, according to, making him the third-highest paid back in the NFL. King Henry trails only New Orleans Saints’ star Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers.

Barkley could soon join that exalted company, with Jason Fitzgerald, founder of, telling Nguyen the Giants should “basically, guarantee him what would be the equivalent of two tags plus maybe a few dollars more — $12 (million)-$13 million-a-year range.”

Fitzgerald’s thoughts echo those of Pro Football Focus salary cap specialist Brad Spielberger predicting Barkley is likely to be paid sooner than fellow back Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders: “I think they’ll be similar, if they get done, with Jacobs more productive last season obviously, but Barkley carries the draft status cache (drafted second overall).”

Joining the same pay bracket as Henry would surely help Barkley reach a compromise with the Giants. It’s better for Big Blue to have their most dynamic playmaker signed up for the long haul, rather than making him play on the tag at $10.091 million for a single year.

Saquon Barkley Deserves Derrick Henry Money

Henry is a good benchmark for Barkley’s next deal because both are the focal point for their respective teams. ‘King Henry’ dominating the rushing charts in recent seasons has powered the Titans into become regular playoff contenders, just like Barkley’s stellar 2022 helped the Giants return to the postseason for the first time since 2016.

Barkley was the catalyst thanks to a career-high 295 carries to go with a tie for the team lead in receptions with 57. His prominence in the Giants’ offense was summed up his heavy workload during a 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 4, with ESPN’s Jordan Raanan detailing the numbers.

Henry knows all about 30-plus-carry games. The Titans have been content to feed him and keep feeding him whenever they need to make gains.

Tennessee’s reliance on Henry has been most obvious against AFC South rivals the Houston Texans, per The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov.

Busy days like these were common for Barkley last season, and when he was the feature of a game, the Giants usually won. That’s why it’s surprising general manager Joe Schoen didn’t pay up this offseason.

Giants Can Still Correct Contract Oversight

In fairness to Schoen, he was hamstrung somewhat by the value attached to even competent quarterbacks at the pro level. Daniel Jones enjoyed a banner season and led his team to 10 wins, two things sure to get a signal-caller paid.

Jones’ payday netted him $160 million over four years, but framing him as more important than Barkley is a tough sell. Especially given how much Giants struggle to produce yards and points without him, per The Game Day NFL.

Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll have worked to elevate Jones’ importance this offseason by equipping him with new targets like free-agent wide receiver Parris Campbell, rookie burner Jalin Hyatt and Pro-Bowl tight end Darren Waller. If the plan succeeds, nobody will care about Jones getting paid ahead of Barkley.

Yet, if a disgruntled Barkley, who hasn’t denied the possibility of a holdout, leaves Jones with too much slack to pick up, questions will be asked about the Giants’ contract strategy.