Saquon Barkley: Eagles were 'no-brainer' pick despite interest from AFC South contender - Sport News

Saquon Barkley: Eagles were ‘no-brainer’ pick despite interest from AFC South contender

Saquon Barkley recently appeared on the New Heights podcast with now-retired Eagles center Jason Kelce and his brother Travis. He spoke about his free-agent period, which ultimately led to a Philadelphia agreement including $26M fully guaranteed.

Barkley confirmed, via Matt Ehalt of the New York Post, the Texans were the first team he was drawn to with the new league year approaching. That matches a report from the same time, and Barkley noted he and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud communicated about a potential partnership. After interest from the Eagles picked up, though, the two-time Pro Bowler’s attention began to shift.

Saquon Barkley: Eagles were 'no-brainer' despite other interest

“As it got closer, and you start hearing word and Philly, I probably never imagined myself playing for Philly six years ago, but I get to come back to Pennsylvania,” Barkley said. “My family is from Pennsylvania, my lady, our kids, grandmas all that is from Pennsylvania and we’re already close and we can even get to get closer and get a chance to compete. I got to admire [the Eagles] from afar, admire what he was able to build over there and get to be part of that culture. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Philadelphia had interest in retaining 2023 starter D’Andre Swift, but his market became more lucrative than expected. That led the Eagles to prioritize Barkley, and the sides were able to agree to a three-year, $37.75MM pact on the second day of the negotiating window. The NFL has launched a tampering investigation into the matter, but no developments on that front have emerged.

Barkley also noted that four teams (the Giants not being among them) made a formal offer. The Texans – a team that ultimately traded for Joe Mixon to take the place of Devin Singletary – were a “serious suitor,” as Ehaly notes. In the end, though, Barkley preferred to return to the state of his decorated college career amidst solid interest from a shortlist of suitors.

“I had a good bit of teams that really was like all about me coming there and with the price point being up there,” the Penn State alum added. “I wanted to get what I deserved that I thought was fair for me to take care of me and my family. That’s the goal you want to get to, that second contract. “When I had my offers in place, I was like, ‘Alright, what best fits me? Where can I go and have the best opportunity to win?’… When you put all the pieces together, it made sense to be in Philly.”

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