New York Giants sure sound open to trading Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Is this the end for Saquon Barkley in a New York Giants uniform?

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The NFL is a performance-based industry.

As the old saying goes, the NFL is a “what have you done lately for me?” business.

This brings us to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley is a freakish athletic specimen who has a combination of natural size, speed, and raw power that can’t be coached or developed over time. Unfortunately, injuries have taken away some of Barkley’s god-given talent over the past three seasons.

Having missed at least three teams for three seasons in a row, Barkley has suffered through a torn ACL, a high-ankle sprain, and numerous lower body injuries that seemingly have set back his career exponentially since winning 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of The Year honors.

Barkley’s yards per carry has nosedived the last two seasons. After being well above 4.0 yards per carry in his first two seasons, Barkley has averaged just 2.8 yards per attempt since 2020. He has missed too many games and has been far too ineffective in games he has played the last two years.

Due to his injury history and the inherent nature of the short shelf life of an NFL running back, it has been speculated Saquon could be traded this offseason. Barkley is due $7.2M dollars fully guaranteed if he is on the roster. He could be traded with no financial difficulties and the Giants would be left with $0 in dead cap.

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen all but confirmed this reality in his NFL Combine Press Conference on Tuesday.

Schoen readily admitted he will not turn down offers for Saquon like his predecessor infamously did during the 2018 Draft.

“We’re still working through that but I’m open to everything,” Schoen said when asked about the possibility of moving Saquon.

Barkley has a top-10 cap hit on the team’s roster for 2022. Schien openly acknowledged the team’s limited space and how Saquon fits into it.

“Again, we’re in a situation where unfortunately we have to get under the salary cap. We don’t have very good salary cap health. I’m not going to say yes to every deal but I’m going to listen and be open to the situations that are best for the New York Giants.”

Barkley has just 627 rushing yards and two touchdowns combined since 2020. It’s an anemic number, one that seems impossible to be that low. Despite this, Schoen brought up the positives Saquon has and the gifts he possesses that can’t be had over time.

“I think there’s some unknown (with Barkley). I think everybody can say that, when the kid’s healthy, he’s one of the best backs in the league. And I think Brian (Daboll) and his staff will have a plan for him, and feature him. Hopefully, he’s healthy, it’s a physical game, so it’s hard to guarantee that” Schoen put it bluntly.

He is aware of the raw talent Barkley has when healthy. The question is, is he healthy? Will he ever return to his 2018 form or is he years removed from that version of the dominant player the team saw? Schoen is clearly trying to weigh out these legitimate realities and it’s something he should be doing in the best interest of the New York Giants.

Barkley’s spot on the 2022 NY Giants is far from guaranteed. It seems like the team isn’t convinced with his performance and they may in fact try to shop him as Schoen brings in his own players and lays a new foundation.

Hot. New York Giants offseason primer: Cap space, draft needs, free agency targets, more. light