Saquon Barkley is none too pleased as the start of the National Football League season approaches soon. The star running back was one of three Pro Bowlers in that position that failed to receive a long-term second contract from their team.
What that means for Barkley and the other guys is that they will play the 2023 season under a $10.1M guaranteed contract for one year. While that contract sounds great for many, the Giants running back is none too happy with it.
Best in the Game?
Now, the running back has been quoted as saying he is considering sitting out for the year due to the contract dispute. The 2023 NFL Odds for win totals did not change this week with the speculative news, but many are expecting that it could. The New York Giants are still projected to win 8 games in 2023.
The over/under has been at 8 since the numbers came out in the preseason. One of the other bets you can grab before the start of the season is the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl – and they are still listed at +6000 for Super Bowl LVIII. What that means is – if you bet $10 on the Giants to win the Super Bowl, and they do so, that $10 would turn into $600.
Barkley, who is 26 years old, turned down a deal offered by the New York Giants that would have paid him $13M per season with nearly $20M total guaranteed. According to those involved in Barkley’s camp, he is looking for somewhere around $22.5M in guaranteed money.
Barkley was quoted as saying, “I believe I am the best running back in the NFL. I am not even asking for what I am worth. I wouldn’t say I am not happy. But, where I was thrown off was when I came out and said I wanted to be a Giant for life and did not want to hit free agency. I feel like something could have been done.”
Barkley rushed for 295 yards and 1,312 yards with 10 touchdowns a season ago. The 26-year-old out of Penn State is 46 carries away from 1,000 in his career and needs another 251 yards to get to 4,500. Barkley also has a total of 29 touchdowns, while he has lost just one fumble in his career. The Giants finished 9-7 a season ago and won a postseason game. In the NFC Postseason win against Minnesota, he rushed for two touchdowns.
Odds Shifting in NFC East?
The Week 1 NFL Lines have the New York Giants as 3-point underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. However, if Saquon Barkley is officially out for the season or even this week 1 game, the odds could shift significantly.
Barkley is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL, and his absence would be a major blow to the Giants. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are one of the favorites to win the NFC East this season, and they would be even more of a favorite if Barkley is out.
If Barkley does sit out, the Giants will likely turn to Matt Breida as their starting running back. Breida is a capable player, but he is not as explosive as Barkley. This could make it difficult for the Giants to run the ball effectively, and it could also take some pressure off of Daniel Jones in the passing game.
The odds for the Giants to win the NFC East are currently at +1200. However, if Barkley is out for the season, those odds could drop significantly. The Cowboys, on the other hand, would become the favorites to win the division. Their odds are currently at +200.
The Week 1 game between the Giants and Cowboys is sure to be a close one, even if Barkley is out. However, the Cowboys would be the clear favorites if Barkley is unable to play.
Next Man up in New York
If Barkley does plan to sit the season out, the Giants will need to do some readjustments in their offense. The organization will likely look to make a move to add a running back to the lineup. But, until they do, Matt Breida would take over as the starting running back for New York. Breida rushed the football 54 times for 220 yards and a touchdown a season ago. In his career, the Georgia Southern running back in his 6th season has just 8 touchdowns.
Eric Gray would then become the backup. The Giants do not need any more losses to their offense after struggling to score many times through last season. Gray is in his first season out of Oklahoma. The Giants drafted him in the 5th round and was 172nd overall.
The Rest of the Season
The Giants start the season with the Cowboys at home before playing on the road at the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers before returning home to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The Giants play the first 12 weeks of the season before their bye week on December 4th. New York ends their season with two out of their last three games against divisional champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Barkley’s potential holdout could have a significant impact on the Giants’ season. If he is unable to play, the team will be without one of their most dynamic offensive players. This could make it difficult for them to win games, especially against.