The New York Giants have a decision to make with soon-to-be free agent running back Saquon Barkley, and one option is to use the franchise tag on their star.

But the Giants are unlikely to do so, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter: “The Giants will speak with free-agent-to-be running back Saquon Barkley and explore a deal with him, but they are also unlikely to tag him for $12,109,200, per sources.”

The franchise tag is a designation that NFL teams like the Giants can give to their upcoming unrestricted free agents. It is a one-year, albeit pricy, contract that teams usually use on their best players with whom they have been unable to reach contract extension agreements with but they still want on the team.

There are two types of franchise tags, and each team is allowed to use the franchise tag once per year. The first type of franchise tag is called the exclusive franchise tag. This is a one-year contract worth no less than the average of the top-five salaries at that player's respective position or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is more. With this tag, the team has exclusive negotiating rights, meaning the player must sign the franchise tag, or else he is not allowed to sign elsewhere for the entire next season.

If Saquon Barkley were to leave the New York Giants, the Texans are favored (+400) to sign the running back, via The Chicago Bears (+500) and Los Angeles Chargers (+600) make up the top three while the New England Patriots (+700) and Baltimore Ravens (+900) round out the top five.

Barkley played the 2023 season under the franchise tag, only after New York added a $2 million bonus and incentives. After signing Daniel Jones to a massive contract, the Giants enter the offseason with the 16th-highest cap space in the league at almost $39 million. While he has spent his entire career in New York, it remains to be seen what the team will do with Barkley.