Barkley and the Giants did not come close to hammering out a new deal during last week's bye, according to sources.
General manager Joe Schoen previously had stated that the deadline for the Giants to complete a deal with Barkley was last Monday, which came and went without an extension. With that deadline behind them, Barkley and the Giants (6-2) now will focus on what's ahead of them this season, starting with the Sunday home game against the Houston Texans.
Neither side wants contract-related distractions as they attempt to build upon a feel-good season in which the Giants are in the thick of NFC playoff contention while Barkley is a candidate for, at the very least, the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award.
Barkley has rushed for 779 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 28 catches for 189 yards, in New York's first eight games this season. The former No. 2 overall draft pick is over the injuries that plagued the early part of his career and is a central figure in the Giants' resurgence.
While both Barkley and the Giants want their relationship to continue, there are no assurances it will. Barkley surely will have his sights set on becoming one of the NFL's highest-paid running backs, if not the highest. Christian McCaffrey's deal averages $16 million a season, Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott each make an average of $15 million, and Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry are both at about $12.5 million.
The Giants would like to retain Barkley, and could potentially use their franchise tag, which is expected to cost them $10 million and would set up another interesting offseason debate for the organization. If the Giants place the tag on Barkley, they would not be able to use it on quarterback Daniel Jones, who also is on an expiring contract.