Barkley Deal Says Everything About New York Giants Culture
As the New York Giants made the University at Albany their summer home from 1997-2012, those that worked in the Great Danes' athletic department enjoyed a firsthand look at Big Blue's internal operation, the heartbeat of any team. Gauging from Saquon Barkley's about-face contract Tuesday, things haven't changed much.
General managers and coaches come and go, but the New York Giants consistent pursuit of championships and operating their football business at the highest level, is a refection of the Mara/Tisch ownership. John Mara and Steve Tisch have built upon the culture established by the Mara family, when they founded the Giants in 1925. Steve Tisch's father, Preston, purchased 50% of the team from the Mara's in 1991, shortly after the Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Since then, the two-family partnership has captured 3 more Lombardi Trophies.
You can tell a lot about an organization based on how they treat their employees. Many of the New York Giants business operations employees have been there for a decades. Friends that have worked for the team could not be more complimentary of how fairly they were evaluated and how appreciated they felt by ownership. With that said, the New York Giants operate first and foremost as a business. That's where Saquon comes in.
New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen and Saquon Barkley surely differ of what each thinks a "fair" salary for the star running back. What seemed to be a shockingly small margin between the two sides was exasperated by the massive contract signed by Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas on Wednesday. But, that is business. There is little doubt that John Mara and Steve Tisch love Saquon Barkley as a running back and as a person. However, the ownership duo hired Schoen to bring their team back to the Super Bowl and the contract they offered Barkley was certainly "fair" given the market on running backs in the NFL. That "fairness" is 100% why Saquon did not hold out and is in camp this week.
Not many New York Giants come to mind, that have preformed well on the field and represented the organization off the field in a positive manner, that have left the organization saying that they weren't treated fairly. Saquon Barkley agreeing to put the organization's success, in front of his own personal needs, was extremely telling. The established New York Giants culture has always been: put the team in front of yourself. Saquon did just that. Barkley revealed a lot about what type of person the Giants have, as well. All good news for Giants fans.