Dallas Cowboys rival Saquon Barkley aimed to be the face of the running back revolution. He threatened to skip all of NY Giants training camp and went on the record saying he'd be willing to miss games during the regular season.
That prompted Cowboys fans to keep a sharp eye on the Barkley saga. After all, the Cowboys and Giants meet in Week 1 on Sunday Night Football. A Barkley-less Giants squad would have given Dallas a gorgeous opportunity to start the new campaign with a win over a division rival.
Of course, Barkley wasn't the only RB holding out.
Josh Jacobs is absent for the start of Raiders camp, while Jonathan Taylor has yet to report to Indianapolis and was visibly frustrated during the RB-led Zoom meeting that discussed the position's marginalized status.
As it turns out, Jacobs and Taylor will have to lead the revolution on their own because Barkley already caved. On Tuesday, Barkley and the Giants agreed to a revised one-year contract that includes $1 million in incentives.
Saquon Barkley ending Giants holdout is comedy for Cowboys fans
We thought Barkley was holding out for a contract extension, not a one-year deal worth a smidge more than the franchise tag. His holdout essentially didn't happen. Though he didn't report to East Rutherford with the rest of his teammates, he's in the building for Day 1 of Giants training camp.
The best part (for Cowboys fans)? Barkley didn't even negotiate a "no franchise tag" clause, which means he can get tagged again after this season.
Essentially, he slighted the front office all offseason for an extra $3 million in pay this season ... but only if he produces at a similar clip to 2022.
Think we're kidding?
Per reports, the incentives are tied to Barkley rushing for 1,350 yards and 11 total touchdowns. He also must record 65 receptions and the Giants have to make the playoffs. Barkley rushed for a career high 1,312 yards last year, but it marked the first time since his rookie year in 2018 that he reached the 1,300-yard threshold.
Barkley is an elite talent, but he hasn't strung together consecutive Pro Bowl-level seasons in his entire career. In terms of receptions, Barkley hasn't eclipsed more than 60 receptions since his rookie year when he caught 90 passes.
Seriously, who negotiated this deal? And what exactly was the point of Barkley's large-scale holdout if he was going to cave at the bare minimum offer?
The guaranteed money on Barkley's deal is the same as the $10.1 million he would've made by signing the franchise tag tender.
The Giants essentially added $1 million in incentives (really $900,000) so he can make as much as $11 million. The $2 million signing bonus is the only obvious win for Barkley here, and it really only means he doesn't have to wait until the regular season to begin earning his salary.
This all means Barkley will be on the field for Week 1, which isn't great news for Dallas, but it's impossible not to find humor in this.
After digging his heels in, he ended up with a slight raise that's contingent on him staying healthy, producing at an All-Pro level, and the Giants returning to the playoffs with the NFL's third-hardest schedule.
Talk about getting the raw end of a deal.