One of the first moves made this offseason for the NY Giants was making a drastic move for the offensive line and who watches over them. The Giants dismissed Bobby Johnson and hired Las Vegas Raiders offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo to be his replacement. Bricillo is tasked with turning around a unit that was ranked 30th by Pro Football Focus for three consecutive seasons.
Bicillo’s unit with the Raiders was near the top of the league in 2023, as they were 10th best. The Raiders offensive line did not include top of the league performers, which bodes well for a Giants OL that desperately needs better coaching for the linemen up front.
The arrival of Bricillo should also be good news for Saquon Barkley, especially if he decides to remain with the Giants with his upcoming free agency. Barkley is coming off a season where he rushed for 962 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Barkley posted 1,242 total yards and 10 total touchdowns for the Giants and was really their one lone bright spot on offense in a dismal offense in 2023.
However, with a new voice coaching the offensive line for the Giants, here is why the Giants should hang onto Barkley for 2024 and potentially beyond:
4. Saquon Barkley is still the best skill player on the offense
The Giants had several players on offense that had the potential for big seasons in 2023. Many thought Daniel Jones would be primed for a bigger 2023 campaign after getting a $160 million contract following the 2022 season that saw him lead the Giants to the postseason and win a playoff game with a 300-yard performance. He ended up struggling and was out for the year by November with a torn ACL.
Many also thought Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt would give the Giants new elements in the passing game. While they showed flashes, Waller ended up hurt and missed five games with a hamstring issue. He ended up as the second leading pass-catcher as a result. Hyatt, like Waller, showed flashes with his speed. But there were too many games in which Hyatt was a disappearing act and didn’t post a single catch.
The one constant remains Barkley, who despite missing three games due to an ankle sprain, was the Giants best skill player with an almost 1,000-yard season on the ground. Barkley still finished with 10 total touchdowns, which shows he is still a threat in the ground game as well as the passing game.
Some have claimed that Barkley has lost a step and isn’t the same player he once was. Granted, he has gotten older, but the production is still there. Opposing teams still try to game plan for No. 26 each week. Even with the changes on the Giants, Barkley is still their best player on offense and that would remain the same if he does return.