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The running back out of Penn State has been one of the more electric players in New York over the past four years, but he has struggled to remain healthy. Barkley played just two games in 2020 before suffering an ACL tear after posting back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard rushing seasons.
The 24-year-old is expected to earn $7.2 million in 2022.
In his lone full season, the 2018 No. 2 overall pick rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns with 721 receiving yards on 91 catches with four scores. That was enough to earn him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and get New York fans dreaming of a quick rebuild.
Injuries delayed that process.
Before Barkley tore his ACL in 2020, he suffered a high ankle sprain in 2019 that limited him to just 13 games.
It’s unclear how effective Barkley will be after nearly a full year off. The Giants don’t seem concerned enough to let him reach free agency after this season. Instead, the club bought itself some time to let Barkley continue working through his rehab before negotiating a possible extension.
Should those talks fall through, Barkley will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season.
The last No. 2 pick not to have his fifth-year option picked up is former Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was drafted in 2017.