5 former NY Giants who have jumped ship to join an NFC East rival

Saquon Barkley is one of many former Giants to jump ship and join an NFC East rival

Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks during a
Mar 14, 2024; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks during a / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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Arguably, the most significant story of this NFL offseason has been NY Giants star running back Saquon Barkley signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year, $37.75 million contract in free agency. The move shocked many Big Blue fans who believed the two-time Pro Bowler would finish his career with the Giants.

When people learned that Saquon would likely sign elsewhere, many were surprised he would choose to play within the NFC East. Many fans believed if Barkley were to leave, he would sign with the Baltimore Ravens or Houston Texans.

While the move shocked Giants fans and football fans in general, this wasn't the first time a former Big Blue player left the team to join an NFC East rival. In this piece, we take a look at five in particular who have made the move to join one of NY's enemies:

5. C Nick Gates

One of the more recent examples of a player who left the Giants to join a divisional rival is offensive lineman Nick Gates. The former Big Blue center played in New York from 2018 to 2022; however, he suffered several significant injuries that set him back from potentially playing longer with the G-Men. While Gates did not necessarily finish his tenure with the Giants as anticipated, he did show signs of success at the start of his career in New York.

Gates was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but spent his rookie season on the Injured Reserve list. Before the 2020 season, the team announced that they had extended Gates to a two-year, $6.825 million contract, and in 2021, the Giants named him a team captain. Unfortunately for Gates, he suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the first quarter of a Thursday Night Football game against the Washington Commanders and underwent surgery the next day.

Before the 2023 season, the veteran lineman signed a three-year contract with the Commanders. However, Gates struggled for the first seven games and was eventually downgraded on Washington's depth chart, with Tyler Larsen taking over as the team's starting center. The Washington Commanders released Gates and he remains a free agent.