Giants general manager Saquon Barkley was pitched by Hard Knocks before signing with the Eagles.

As another Tuesday has passed, another episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants” premiered. Unlike the traditional “Hard Knocks,” which covers training camp, this season dives into the Giants’ offseason, meaning viewers are getting access to how teams function during free agency and the NFL Draft.

Tuesday night’s episode removed the curtain on former Giant Saquon Barkley’s free agency saga.

Barkley had spent the last six seasons in New York after the Giants drafted him with the second overall pick in 2018. During his tenure, he racked up 5,211 rushing yards along with 2,100 receiving yards and 47 touchdowns. In those six years, Barkley was far and away the team’s best player.

His rookie contract expired at the end of the 2022 season, and that’s where things took a downward turn. Barkley wanted to be paid like one of the league’s top backs, but the Giants were wary of paying him like one due to his injury history. Instead, he ended up being given the dreaded franchise tag. Eventually, the two sides agreed on a one-year deal worth about $10 million.

Barkley played out the 2023 season, leading the team in rushing yards and total touchdowns. But after the season, it was time to either pay him as he saw fit or watch him leave for another team.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen initially had a discussion with assistant GM Brandon Brown where he discussed what his pitch to Barkley would look like.

“Hey, here is our price,” Schoen told Brown. “You want your name up here forever? Two more years, you’re in the Ring of Honor. Or you want a million dollars more to go somewhere else?”

When Schoen approached Barkley, he said, “The right thing to do is let you test the market and to see what your value is. I don’t want to do the franchise thing or all that stuff again. If you really want to be a Giant for life and you’re interested in coming back, see what your market is and have Ed (Berry, Barkley’s agent) come back to us.”

Schoen later asked Barkley, “Can you give me your word on that, or you not going to give us a chance?”

Barkley responded, “I already told you where I want to be, so…”

Not long after this conversation, Barkley had signed a three-year deal worth $37.75 million with division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

In the first episode of “Hard Knocks,” Schoen talked with former All-Pro running back Frank Gore, who cited that running backs start declining once they turn 27 via CBS Sports. This past February, Barkley turned 27.

For now, Giants fans will have to stomach seeing Barkley run out against his former team twice a year in an Eagles uniform.

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