Training Camp starts in about a week for the Philadelphia Eagles, and in the meantime, their two biggest rivals are each going through some turmoil.

Let’s take a quick look at each situation and what it means for the Eagles.

Saquon Barkley Might Hold Out

The deadline for franchise-tagged players to agree to new contracts with their current teams was on Monday at 4:00 P.M. Barkley, and the Giants could not agree to terms, and it appears as if they were very close.

The entire negotiation process with Barkley was kind of bizarre, as the Giants apparently made him and his representation start their negotiations from scratch after they gave Daniel Jones his contract extension. Barkley also claims that the team leaked fake contract offers to paint him in a bad light. Regardless, he now only has two options for 2023: play on the tag or sit out the season. It sounds like he might be seriously considering the latter.

The Eagles do not play the Giants until Christmas Day. If Barkley does not sign his tag by November 14, he is not allowed to play during the season at all, so that day is the latest we will find out whether or not the Eagles will face Barkley this year.

Barkley is a great player and arguably the most important offensive player on the Giants. Even in a weak NFC, their chances of returning to the playoffs are probably slim to none if he ultimately decides to stay away from the team. It is hard not to be skeptical of how Joe Schoen and the Giants’ front office elected to handle this situation.

Zack Martin Wants More Money, and the Cowboys Might Not be Able to Give it to Him

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Martin is considering holding out of training camp because he is unhappy with his contract. He has a pretty strong case, as he is only the eighth-highest-paid guard in the NFL in terms of AAV and is, at worst, a top-three player at his position. 

The Cowboys, however, might be hard-pressed to give him a raise because they are in a lot of trouble financially. They are currently projected to have a little over $24 million in cap space in 2024, but their upcoming free-agent list is quite heavy. Players entering the final year of their contracts in Dallas include Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Trevon Diggs, and Stephon Gilmore, among others, including both of their starting safeties and starting right tackle. Additionally, Dak Prescott’s cap number skyrockets to nearly $60 million in 2024. They can restructure his contract, but how much money are they going to be willing to kick into future years with CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons’ big paydays getting closer and closer? They are not going to be able to pay all of the aforementioned free agents, regardless. Still, it will be interesting to see how much (if at all) Jerry Jones is willing to budge concerning Martin’s demands knowing the problems he will face down the line.

Martin has been an elite guard for Dallas for nearly a decade, and any time he misses would certainly be devastating for Prescott and the Cowboys. Of course, the more star players sitting out games for division rivals, the better chance the Eagles have of becoming the first team to repeat as NFC East champions since 2004.

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

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