Despite embarking on quite the spending spree this offseason, the Giants remain quiet on their financial plans as they relate to their star running back.
Barring injury, Saquon Barkley likely would've received the stamp of long-term approval players of his caliber earn entering their fourth season. Instead, the 2018 No. 2 overall pick enters Year 4 with a lot to prove.
Giants co-owner John Mara spoke with reporters Wednesday about whether or not the team is looking to sign Barkley to some sort of deal before next season. His response indicated there's absolutely no rush.
"I certainly think we're not in any hurry to do that. We fully expect him to be as good as new," Mara said, via the team's official transcript. "I mean, if anybody is going to spend 100% of his efforts to rehab, it will be Saquon just knowing what type of motivation he has and desire he has. But we're not in any hurry to do that at this point in time, particularly after the money we just spent. But listen, I said it at the end of the season and I'll say it again, we hope he's going to be a Giant for life and at the appropriate time we'll start those discussions."
Last week, Mara told the New York Post he believes "our roster is good enough to make the playoffs." It's not far-fetched to assume he was thinking about Barkley when making that statement.
Granted, it's understandable that Mara would be hesitant to talk long-term after Barkley tore his ACL two games into the 2020 campaign. The concerns likely go beyond that, though, when you consider Barkley dealt with lingering injury issues in 2019 that, depending on who you ask, hampered his play to some degree.
New York does have the flexibility of exercising Barkley's fifth-year option while waiting to see how he produces this fall. But, as general manager Dave Gettleman admitted earlier in March, the injury is weighing heavily on that decision.
"Well, I think that's part of the discussion and obviously we're going to have to make a decision in the spring on whether we pick up his fifth-year option or not," Gettleman said. "You know, again, it comes back to that medical question. It's unknown and what you have to do is get your trainer and your doctors involved and make your best decision."
The Giants' lineup, particularly on offense, is nearly set and, with the draft approaching, they'll likely spend more time addressing their defensive needs. Given the pieces in place, third-year quarterback Daniel Jones is going to need a healthy back behind him as he looks to take the next step. Caution aside, the overwhelming hope is that Barkley will step right back into that role and help lead the charge.