Saquon Barkley chose Eagles even after connecting with CJ Stroud for Texans move

Running backs have been facing difficulties securing big contracts for the last several years and Saquon Barkley is no exception. Contract disagreements have plagued him and the New York Giants throughout the offseason. The team later decided not to franchise tag the RB before he started his new journey with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Barkley’s journey to the Eagles almost took a detour through the Houston Texans, as revealed by the running back himself. However, the Eagles offered him such a lucrative deal that he couldn’t help joining Jalen Hurts and Co.

Saquon Barkley almost joined Texans

Saquon Barkley raised eyebrows of the NFL community by disclosing on the New Heights podcast that the Texans caught his attention early on in the process. He cited conversations with Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud and other players as crucial moments for the potential move.

“Probably the team that had my first interest was Houston. I got to communicate with C.J. and a couple of those boys, but this was before when you could actually put offers on the table and talk to teams,” Barkley said via NBC Sports.

Speculation surrounding Barkley’s potential landing spots was rampant prior to free agency, with reports linking him to the Texans. The team’s head coach, DeMeco Ryans, hinted at their intention to bolster their backfield during the NFL owners meetings.

The Texans were reportedly prepared to offer the running back a deal worth $33 million over three years. However, the Eagles swooped in with a blockbuster contract that proved too lucrative for Barkley to resist, securing his services for the upcoming season.

Saquon Barkley’s arrival in the Philly squad has sparked controversy. His former college coach suggested that Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman may have violated NFL rules by contacting Barkley before the start of free agency. This investigation is going on over the Eagles’ acquisition of Barkley. But it is important to note that his discussions with Stroud and other players were within the bounds of league regulations. It is not as apparent as Joe Flacco’s case with the Indianapolis Colts.

Saquon Barkley’s Eagles payday

Saquon Barkley signed a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Eagles, with $26 million fully guaranteed. The deal can provide him an “up-to” opportunity to pocket $46.75 million maximum.

With a signing bonus of $11.625 million and per-game roster bonuses of $250K annually, Barkley’s base salaries escalate from $1.375 million in 2024 to $12 million in 2026. However, only $1.5 million of his 2026 salary is guaranteed. He is also entitled to a $1 million bonus if he remains on the roster by the fifth day of the 2026 league year.

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Yahoo Sports

The deal also serves as a two-year agreement worth over $24 million to give the Eagles some flexibility. By 2025, the decision to keep Barkley or let him go will be in their hands. With potential earnings of $24.5 million in two years, Barkley’s 2026 cap hit of around $15.5 million indicates that a re-negotiation is likely if he stays with the team. This payday exemplifies a harmonious blend of financial stability and rewards based on performance.

Maliha

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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.

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