PHILADELPHIA — Saquon Barkley could not prolong the Giants season on Saturday night and now he enters an offseason of uncertainty.
Barkley, a pending free agent, made it clear after the 38-7 loss to the Eagles that he wants to return to the Giants.
“I can’t envision that being my last time in a Giants uniform,” Barkley said at his locker.
The star running back had one big run in the game, a 39-yarder in the third quarter, but did not have much impact beyond that. He finished the game with nine rushes for 61 yards and two catches for 21 yards in the blowout loss.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and the Giants spent most of the night playing catch-up with the passing game, making Barkley less of an option than the Giants surely hoped.
This may have been the last time Barkley appears in a Giants uniform. He is set to become a free agent in March. The two sides have engaged in negotiations on a new contract but failed to reach a deal during the Giants’ bye week. The Post’s Ian O’Connor reported last week that Barkley turned down an offer believed to be in the $12 million-$12.5 million range annually for three or four years.
Barkley was asked if he expects to be back next year.
“I don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” he said. “I’ve been vocal about how I feel and where I want to be. That’s outside of my control. I wanted to show the Giants that the guy they drafted is still here. I hope I did that. Everyone knows I would love to be a Giant for life. The answer is out of my control. Sometime this week I’ll get a conversation with my agent Kim [Miale] and see what’s up.”
Barkley is coming off a huge season when he rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 2018 No. 2-overall pick was fully healthy for the first time since his rookie season and he showed why he was such a highly rated prospect coming out of Penn State.
Barkley was a big piece of the Giants win over the Vikings last week with two touchdowns and 109 total yards.
If the Giants were going to have any chance against the Eagles, they were going to need another big night from Barkley. But he only had 7 rushing yards on four carries in the first half along with one catch for 2 yards. He exploded through the Eagles’ defense early in the third quarter but was tackled from behind by Eagles safety Marcus Epps after a 39-yard gain. Barkley did contribute to the Giants’ only touchdown, as he took the direct snap and handed it off to Matt Breida, who scored an 8-yard touchdown.
Barkley said he believes the Giants have the foundation of something special.
“If we keep the core, we keep the majority of guys here,” Barkley said, “this is something we can build on.”
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