The NY Giants have a legitimate need in the backup runningback department heading into the 2020 offseason.
Saquon Barkley is about as durable as they come, but as the 2019 season showed us, it’s even possible for him to go down with an injury. As soon as Saquon went down, the NY Giants running game fizzled out and contributed to the overall downfall of the team.
Wayne Gallman was at one time thought to have a future with Big Blue, but he has clearly fallen out of favor with the new regime that didn’t play a part in drafting him in the fourth round in 2017. To make matters worse, Gallman went down with a concussion when he took over for the injured Barkley last season.
With Gallman wrapping up the last year of his rookie contract in 2020 – and some speculating he may not even make next year’s 53-man roster- the Giants are going to have to start looking for a long-term backup.
Obviously, Barkley is going to assume the lion’s share of snaps, but that doesn’t mean this offense isn’t lacking a short-yardage ace, which is Barkley’s weakness. Additionally, targeting a runningback that is a solid pass protector would be a wise idea given Barkley’s struggles there, although while considering Barkley’s receiving ability, targeting a ‘back that has receiving upside isn’t necessarily important.
While the NFL draft is surely one way to address the need, Dave Gettleman may prefer to save his draft picks for more pressing needs and should be able to find a quality back on the free-agent market for next to nothing.
Much like the backup quarterback market that we previously discussed, the runningback crop is particularly deep this year, especially with guys that are more suited as backup/rotational types. Very few runningbacks break the bank in this day and age, allowing teams to acquire quality ‘backs for almost nothing on the free-agent market.
The NY Giants could strike gold and find a true complement to Saquon Barkley for a minimal investment.
Here are three free agent backup runningback options for the NY Giants.