Saquon Barkley returns to PA, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL free agency

Despite injuries, Saquon Barkley has established himself as one of the NFL's top running backs after a historic career at Penn State. Now, he's getting paid like it to return to PA, with a maximum annual value of $15.833 million, which would be the second highest for any running back in history, per Adam Schefter.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The legal tampering window for NFL free agents opened on Monday at Noon ET and the Philadelphia Eagles quickly prioritized the running back market. The New York Giants declined to franchise tag Saquon Barkley, so Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman convinced the former Nittany Lion to switch NFC East allegiances with a three-year contract worth up to $46.75 million. 

The deal came just hours after Philly watched D’Andre Swift, who ran for 1,049 yards and five touchdowns in his lone season as an Eagle, sign a three-year contract with the Chicago Bears for $24 million with $15.3 million guaranteed. Swift, the Philadelphia native, is still just 25 years old, but the Eagles opted to invest in the 27-year-old former Mr. Pennsylvania from Whitehall PA. 

Since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2018, Barkley has dealt with injuries and poor offensive line play in New York but has managed to rack up 5,211 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns on the ground. Despite future Hall of Famer, Jason Kelce’s retirement this offseason, Philly’s offensive line will still be the best that Barkley has run behind in his career. 

Last season, in 14 games, Barkley rushed for 962 yards, narrowly missing the fourth 1,000-yard season of his career, but added 280 yards on 41 receptions for the 6-11 Giants. While the maximum value of the contract with the Eagles is nearing $50 million, only $26 million is fully guaranteed, and he’s likely to see $37.75 million over the duration. 

In his nine career games against the Eagles, Barkley has run for 615 yards and six touchdowns, his most rushing touchdowns against any single opponent in the NFL.

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