Title: Contract Disputes Loom for Barkley, Jacobs as NFL’s Franchise Tag Deadline Approaches
In a surprising turn of events, three prominent running backs in the NFL, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard, failed to reach contract agreements with their respective teams ahead of the franchise tag deadline. These franchise players are now facing restrictions that prevent them from signing long-term contracts until after the 2023 regular season.
While Tony Pollard made the decision to sign his franchise tag in March, Barkley and Jacobs have yet to put pen to paper, igniting concerns among fans and analysts alike. It is widely speculated that the duo might consider skipping training camp to protest their unsigned status. As unsigned franchise players, they are protected from incurring any fines for missed training camp days.
The thought of Barkley and Jacobs potentially missing regular season games due to their ongoing contract disputes adds further apprehension. Each game missed would translate to a monetary loss for the players, highlighting the urgency in reaching an agreement. The looming deadline for Barkley and Jacobs is November 14th; failure to sign beyond this date would render them ineligible to play during the 2023 season.
As the Giants and Raiders closely monitor the situation, they hold the power to rescind the franchise tenders of Barkley and Jacobs if both players remain unsigned. This move would provide each team with an additional $10.091 million in cap space. However, it is highly unlikely that either team would part ways with their star running backs, considering their pivotal roles in their respective offenses.
Barkley and Jacobs do have some leverage as franchise players. They possess the option to negotiate their one-year salary and other conditions, attempting to secure more favorable terms. Despite this advantage, the current financial landscape for running backs suggests that the likelihood of Barkley and Jacobs securing a significant payday in free agency is slim.
Meanwhile, the option to force a trade looms for both players. However, the lack of a signed contract hampers their influence over their destination. Preseason trades involving franchise players are rare occurrences, with recent examples including Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue.
Ultimately, it is anticipated that Barkley and Jacobs will end their boycott and sign the franchise tag before the regular season commences. Barkley, who finds himself in a better financial position compared to Jacobs, carries less urgency in securing a deal. Regardless, the NFL community anxiously awaits news of progress in these contract disputes, recognizing the implications they hold for the future of these star running backs.
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