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     The Giants and Saquon Barkley were not able to reach an agreement on a new contract during the team’s bye week last week, and for now, all parties will focus on football. The two sides are hitting pause on contract negotiations until after the season ends. Barkley is in the final year of his rookie contract.

    Barkley, 25, has enjoyed a renaissance season now two years removed from his season-ending torn ACL in 2020. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2018 draft has been the engine for the Giants’ offense during their surprising 7-2 start, entering Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions with 931 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

    Name: Saquon Barkley

    Born: February 9, 1997 in Bronx, New York (Age: 25)

    Size: 6 feet, 234 pounds

    Drafted 2018: 1st Round, 2nd by New York Giants

    College: Penn State

    2022 Salary: $7.2 million

    Favorite Team Growing Up: New York Jets

    Favorite Running Back growing up: Curtis Martin

    To what do you contribute to the success you’re having on the field this year?

    Confidence. I definitely feel more confident in myself and my teammates.

    How do you sustain that success moving forward?

    Just keep going, keep trusting the process. I’m a big believer in the work you put in is what you get out. I know at some point it’s going to turn around. That’s the mindset we need to have as a team too – keep working and finish the season off strong.

    Is this a playoff team?

    I believe that we have the talent to be a playoff team. Everybody in the NFL has the talent to be a playoff team. We just gotta find a way to have one more point than our opponent every week. I think this season could be a special season. I’m truly excited for it.

    What’s the best advice you’ve gotten so far and from whom?

    The best advice that I’ve gotten from multiple people, family and friends: staying true to who you are, believe in the little things, continue to work on the little things, control what you can control.

    What’s your philosophy on engaging with fans?

    The way I try to interact with fans is the chances I do have to interact with them, I try to be nice to them, try to take pictures, because you never know – that picture, that signed autograph could change someone’s day, could change someone’s life. It sounds crazy when you say ‘someone’s life,’ ‘someone’s year,’ but that’s the reality that we have as athletes – the impact that we’re able to have on people. I would definitely not be doing justice to people and to my family if I don’t try to do that. I want to be a person where I can have an impact on this world and on other people and it starts with stuff like that.

    Does your future with the Giants ever cross your mind over the course of the season? Or are you able to just block out that noise?

    You don’t even have time to think about it, to be honest. With all the adversity I’ve dealt with, you’re always preparing on a week-to-week basis and focused on the game plan. For me to sit down and spend time thinking about a new contract, I would be exhausted. I can’t have that approach. I need to take it week by week, day by day. I’m in arguably the biggest media market and have to deal with those questions. I answer them because it’s part of the job. If I thought about all that stuff and let it get to my head, it’d probably drain me out. I just need to keep playing the game the way I know I can. 

    Would you like to remain a New York Giant?

    This is where I started my career, where I would love to finish my career. I know this thing is going to turn around and I would love to be a part of the reason it does.

    What message would you want to give to fans?

    My message to Giants fans would be that it’s a long season, and we do have the pieces to be great. We have the challenge to be great. I think if you look on paper, anybody in their right mind that knows sports, that knows football, would agree with that.