'Hard Knocks' made it seem like Joe Schoen never wanted to keep Saquon Barkley

Schoen was prioritizing other RBs and positions.
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Al Bello/GettyImages

HBO Max premiered Hard Knocks and now everyone can't stop talking about the first episode. As a lot of us expected, former NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley was featured from the start. Everyone has been waiting on answers for how things went down.

One thing was made clear from Episode 1 - Joe Schoen underestimated Barkley's value on free agency. On top of that, the show is already making it seem like the third-year general manager was never that high on the idea of bringing him back in the first place. His initial conversation with John Mara surely opened the door to let him walk:

Giants owner John Mara was hoping Saquon Barkley would be back with the team

In that clip, Mara said, "In a perfect world I'd still like to have him back." Schoen wasn't having it. Instead, he made it clear he wanted to invest in the offensive line to protect Daniel Jones. Schoen and the front office want to figure out if Jones is the guy or not.

The Giants signed both Jon Runyan Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor to help improve things up front, while Carmen Bricillo has been hired as the new offensive line coach. The new-look OL should finally be able to do the job for Jones, though there's still worry about Evan Neal and if he can take a positive step forward.

As for Barkley, the Giants were never going to tag him and they had several RBs in mind to replace him. The team ended up signing running back Devin Singletary, a player Schoen was quite high on. Others mentioned included Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, D'Andre Swift and Zack Moss.

Schoen adding that the previous Saquon negotiations took 10 years off his life was something else that stood out to us. Clearly he wasn't a fan of trying to make it work with No. 26, as things on both sides were never easy. Now, Barkley is with the Eagles, while Schoen and Co. are getting ready for life without the two-time Pro Bowler.