Julie Jacobson/Associated Press
Kimberly Miale, Barkley’s agent, shared a photo of the running back putting pen to paper on his rookie contract:
Kimberly Miale @kimmiale
It’s official. Very proud of this guy! I can’t wait to watch him continue to put in work and come out stronger every day. Congratulations @saquon!! Go big blue!!! https://t.co/fxsMYcD9Hu
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the two sides agreed to terms Sunday on a four-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $31.2 million.
Rapoport added Barkley will also get a $20.8 million signing bonus, with $15 million paid out immediately.
The Giants selected Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft after he finished a dynamic collegiate career at Penn State. The 2017 All-American was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in his final two seasons with the Nittany Lions and helped lead them to a conference championship in 2016 and Fiesta Bowl win in 2017.
He notched his third straight season with more than 1,000 rushing yards in 2017 when he posted 1,271 yards on the ground, 632 receiving yards and 23 total touchdowns—two of which came on kick returns and one of which came on a pass he threw.
Barkley is a three-down back who can break open big plays with his cutting ability and speed in the rushing attack and receiving prowess in the aerial game.
New York hopes he lives up to the hype that surrounded him coming out of Penn State and continues the recent tradition of early running back draft pick success. Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette are all franchise running backs for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively, and Barkley has the talent to fill that role for the Giants.
He will look to resurrect a rushing attack that struggled in 2017 as the Giants finished 3-13.
New York was a mere 26th in the league in rushing yards last year and didn’t feature a single back with more than 751 yards on the ground. While the Giants signed veteran Jonathan Stewart this offseason to add depth, he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry in 2017 as a member of the Carolina Panthers.
Barkley figures to see plenty of playing time right away and could force opposing secondaries into the box to provide support against the run. That, in turn, would open up more passing lanes for quarterback Eli Manning and wideout Odell Beckham Jr. as New York looks to return to the postseason.
Locking up Barkley with a contract was an important step in the playoff process.