Prime Target Saquon Barkley Reveals Main Reason Behind Reluctance to Join Jim Harbaugh & Co.

Published 02/09/2024, 10:09 AM EST

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Saquon Barkley, the standout running back for the New York Giants, is poised to become a highly sought-after free agent next month. The Los Angeles Chargers, led by newly appointed head coach Jim Harbaugh, are among the teams expressing interest in acquiring Barkley’s talents. “I definitely wouldn’t be against [joining the Chargers],” said Barkley in a recent appearance on Up & Adams. However, is that really what he wants?

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In his recent appearance on ESPN, Barkley took a contradictory stance, where the star running back admitted why he wants to be a “part of the New York Giants so badly.” As the anticipation builds ahead of free agency, Barkley’s future hangs in the balance, leaving fans curious about where he’ll ultimately land. And now, he’s revealed his ultimate goal.

When asked why he chooses to stick to the New York Giants despite suffering “three losing seasons over the last four years,” Saquon Barkley promptly replied, “Because I know how special the Giants organization is.” He continued, “I’ve got nothing but tremendous respect for the Tisch family, for the Mara family. This is the team that drafted me.” The Giants were the team that gave him his shot in the NFL, and as per Barkley, seeing as they gave him his dream, he wants to give them theirs.

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“I’m a big believer of setting a goal and accomplishing that goal. When I got drafted here, one of my goals would be [to be] the reason why the Giants are back on top.” While it hasn’t gone Barkley’s way so far, he revealed, “I want to be a Giant for life. I want to be the likes of Tiki, Michael, Eli.” However, the running back knows there’s a possibility that may not happen, seeing as “the sad part of it is that the NFL is a business. If this was my last season with the Giants, I had a blast.” 

 

The New York Giants are facing a pivotal decision regarding the star running back’s future. Despite having the option to utilize the franchise tag for a second consecutive offseason, indications suggest they may let him explore free agency. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan on the Breaking Big Blue podcast, there’s a growing sentiment that Barkley will be allowed to hit the open market. While the Giants express a desire to retain Barkley, there seems to be hesitancy regarding meeting his salary expectations.

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Will Jim Harbaugh be seeking Saquon Barkley out?

With Jim Harbaugh at the helm, the Los Angeles Chargers are assembling a formidable coaching staff, drawing from both the professional and college football ranks. Now that the staff is nearly finalized, attention turns to bolstering the roster, with quarterback Justin Herbert already standing out as a top-tier talent. However, the running back position remains a crucial area for improvement.

According to Good Morning Football’s Ryan Leaf, Saquon Barkley is likely at the top of Harbaugh’s wishlist for the vacant running back position. Barkley’s recent interview on Up & Adams with Kay Adams, where he expressed openness to exploring free agency, is sure to bring a smile to Harbaugh’s face as he continues to shape the Chargers into a powerhouse team.

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“I’ve got nothing but respect for Coach Harbaugh,” Barkley stated. “I’m a big fan of Justin Herbert. I think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But, hey, if the opportunity was able to present itself, I definitely wouldn’t be against it.” His ultimate goal may be to stay with the Giants throughout his career, but if Jim Harbaugh comes knocking, do you think Saquon Barkley would jump ship to the Chargers?

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Written by:

Anushka Laha

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Anushka Laha is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. She is great at identifying and relating to the finer on and off-the-field nuances, which grants her the ability to cover an array of topics - from delving into the lives of retired NFL legends like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the exciting developments happening on the college football field. As an artistic person, Anushka sees football and its physicality with an artistic lens where the players are creating art with their plays.
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Edited by:

Tripti Sarda

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