Saquon Barkley wants to be one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.
And he's certainly making a good case for it.
Fresh off the bye week, during which his agent had some preliminary talks with Giants management about a long-term contract, the 25-year-old Barkley did more of what he's been doing all season long. He carried the Giants offense, rushing a career-high 35 times for 152 yards and a touchdown as New York beat the Houston Texans 24-16 to improve to 7-2.
That brings Barkley to 931 rushing yards in just nine games in a season that began with the running back having everything to prove. He needed to prove he could stay healthy after three injury-plagued seasons that included a torn ACL and two sprained ankles. He needed to prove he was still an electric player, coming off a dismal 593 rushing yards last year.
And maybe most importantly, with a new coaching staff and management team in place in New York, Barkley had to prove his worth in the final year of his contract. He needed to show the coaches and front office that he's worth whatever financial risk he'll eventually ask them to take.
More than halfway through the season, he's done all of that and more.