Blockbuster Bills Trade Proposal Sends Pro Bowl RB, Former OROY to Buffalo

Saquon Barkley

Getty New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley exploded for nearly 200 total yards in Week 1.

The Buffalo Bills could give a boost to their stagnant running game by landing a former Pro Bowl running back in the midst of a resurgent season, one analyst has suggested.

Though the Bills have one of the league’s top offenses through three games of the season — standing No. 2 in offensive output with 441 yards per game and No. 3 in total points with 30.3 per game — they have failed to get much out of their running game. They average just a little over 112 yards per game, with the bulk coming from quarterback Josh Allen.

Boomer Esiason believes the Bills could swing a major trade to improve the situation.

Bills Target Pro Bowl RB Saquon Barkley?

Appearing on “Up & Adams,” Esiason suggested that the Bills could benefit from Saquon Barkley’s resurgent season with the New York Giants. After several seasons dealing with injuries, Barkley has started to once again show the promise evident in his 1,307-yard rookie season, which earned him Rookie of the Year honors. Barkley has 317 rushing yards through three games this season, sporting a robust 6.0 yards-per-carry average with two touchdowns.

Esiason said that Barkley’s trade value is at its peak, which could prompt the Giants to squeeze some value out of the running back before his contract expires at the end of the 2023 season. If that’s the case, the Bills could be a top suitor, Esiason suggested.

“Saquon is probably as good now as he’ll ever be in the NFL,” Esiason said. “First couple games here, he’s redeems himself—in my eyes anyway—he’s running hard, lowering his shoulders, you can see the burst is back in his legs … why would the Giants keep him? Especially if you can get a reasonably good draft pick.”

Esiason suggested that the Bills might be willing to trade a second-day pick for Barkley.

“The Bills would love to have a top-end running back and give the Giants a second- or third-round draft pick,” he said. “You would have to consider it if you’re the Giants.”

Bills Aimed to Improve Running Game

For the past two seasons, the Bills have had a stated goal to improve the efficiency of their running game but haven’t seen much results. Devin Singletary assumed the role of lead running back down the final stretch of last season as Zack Moss struggled, but he still didn’t come close to the 1,000-yard threshold, ending the season with 870 rushing yards.

General manager Brandon Beane brought in some help this offseason, drafting the versatile James Cook with the team’s second-round pick. Though he is considered to be the best dual rushing-receiving threat of the team’s three primary running backs, Cook has yet to make a significant impact.

Landing Barkley could not only unlock a new dimension to the Bills offense, it could also alleviate some of the pressure on Allen. Bills head coach Sean McDermott has made it clear that the team wants Allen to stay in the pocket more and run less this season.

“Yeah, we want to evolve,” McDermott told NFL Network’s Judy Battista at annual league meetings in March. “We’re always trying to evolve — on the field, off the field, schematically — and in this case with Josh’s running or the amount of times that we run him, we have to continue to evolve that way and making sure we’re doing right by him by doing right by our team. So, we are going to keep a close eye on that.”

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