Ramses Barden is on the clock and he’s very aware of it. The New York Giants wide receiver is preparing to enter his fourth season in the NFL and it’s shaping up to be make it or break it for him.
This year the opportunity to make an impact is clearly there for Barden to grab. The Giants depth at wide receiver will be put to the test in 2012. Mario Manningham is now catching passes in San Francisco thanks to free agency and big-play receiver Hakeem Nicks is rehabbing from a broken foot. If there was ever a chance for Barden to show the Giants he’s ready it’s now.
Based on what head coach Tom Coughlin has said about Barden, it’s apparent that the Giants feel it’s time to see if he is indeed the impact player they believe he can be.
“It’s time, it was time last year. The guy is going to make a mark in the league. He’s smart. He’s been around long enough. He’s been in the heat of it. You know, he’s made plays. He just needs to make them more consistently. That’s all I hope. (That) this is his time.”
It’s the size of Barden that caught my attention when the Giants started talking him up after taking him in the third round of the 2009 draft. He’s 6-foot-6 and was so impressive in his first training camp, it brought back reminders of how successful quarterback Eli Manning was throwing red zone passes to Plaxico Burress.
Injuries and a deep depth chart at the wide receiver position has slowed down Barden’s development. However with Manningham’s departure, there is a prime spot up for grabs. If Barden can stay healthy and produce, he’ll fit nicely in the passing game with Nicks and Victor Cruz for Manning.
Barden is entering the final year of his contract. The Giants went out and drafted receiver Rueben Randle and re-signed Domenik Hixon. If that’s not enough for motivation to get it done, I don’t know what else would work. Nothing is going to be just handed to him, he’ll have to earn it.