Saquon Barkley's future in New York is once again up in the air. The Pro Bowl running back is slated to become a free agent this spring, which comes a year after the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him last March. Barkley and the Giants went back and forth in contract negotiations, but he ultimately settled on a renegotiated tag for the 2023 season. Now, with 2024 free agency around the corner, New York will not use the tag on Barkley again, per CBS Sports HQ NFL Insider Josina Anderson.

That could spell the end of Barkley's tenure with the Giants, the team that selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 27-year-old had previously noted that he wanted to play his entire career with the Giants, but more recently has been open to possibly moving on to a new organization. 

"I mean it never crossed my mind until last year after I got tagged," Barkley told when asked if he could see himself playing for a different team. "Up until that moment, I really believe that I was gonna finish my career as a New York Giant. You know, that was a goal of mine. And that's still in play. I have so much respect for the Mara family and the Tisch family and everyone in the Giants organization.

"They know that but once you get to this point, you go to your contract negotiation and you go through the tag process, you realize how much of a business it is. And I remember vets always telling me this and you know I believed them, but you don't really know something until you go through it. So could I see myself in another uniform? Yeah, it's possible." 

Saquon Barkley
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Barkley added that he'd love to be in the same realm as Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, and fellow back Tiki Barber as players who played their entire career with the Giants, but also noted that he'd be "able to move on."

Injuries have hobbled Barkley throughout his career but has played in 30 games over the past two seasons. In that time, he's totaled at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns in each of those campaigns. At just 27 years old, he still has prime years in front of him, but it remains to be seen if those years will be as a Giant. 

If they are not, here are a few intriguing landing spots for the star back.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are currently slated to have just under $60 million in cap space this offseason, which is the fourth most in the NFL. Of course, the main priority for the franchise will be to lock up star wideout Ja'Marr Chase to an extension and possibly also retain pending free agent Tee Higgins, but Barkley would be a fascinating addition to this Super Bowl contender. Cincinnati ranked dead last in rushing yards per game in 2023, so they could certainly use a player like Barkley injected into their backfield. As for starter Joe Mixon, he has one more year under his current contract with the team and the Bengals could clear roughly $6 million off of their salary cap by releasing him. So, his presence shouldn't provide any sort of roadblock if they were to pursue Barkley. 

Houston Texans

The Texans are an up-and-coming team that would certainly fit Barkley's desire to join a club that has deep playoff run aspirations. In just the first season under head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, Houston advanced to the divisional round, so there is plenty of optimism going forward. This season, the offense ranked 28th in the league in rushing yards per game (92.7). Putting Barkley into that backfield would not only help the running game, but he'd also be a key outlet as a pass catcher for Stroud. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Out of the number of landing spots for Barkley, this might be the spiciest. After years sporting Giants colors, what if he were to jump ship and remain in the NFC East by joining the Philadelphia Eagles?! Currently, the club has a little over $20 million in cap space so it might not be the most lucrative landing spot but, if Philly can rebound after a down year, he'd be on a legit Super Bowl contender while also facing his former team twice. The Eagles have D'Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny and Boston Scott all slated to become free agents this offseason, creating a hole at the position.