Giants Eyeing Ex-NFL TD Leader as Saquon Barkley Replacement: Report

Giants to workout RB Devonta Freeman with Saquon Barkley likely out for the season

Getty Ex-Falcons RB Devonta Freeman.

Slightly over two months ago, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox urged the New York Giants to sign running back Devonta Freeman. Knox’s plea may have been a bit premature at the time. However, with star running back Saquon Barkley likely done for the season with a torn ACL, his vision may soon come to fruition.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that the Giants plan to bring in the ex-Atlanta Falcons starting running back Devonta Freeman for a workout. Freeman, who spent the weekend visiting an NFC East foe in the Philadelphia Eagles, “should be” visiting with Big Blue on Monday.

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Freeman Still Offers Upside as a Dual-Threat Weapon

Freeman has endured a notable whirlwind offseason, which included rejecting a deal from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this spring. Since then, he reportedly threatened retirement and switched agents. He’s receiving a few bites but has left every visit without a contract, this after his new agent Drew Rosenhaus vowed to find Freeman employment by “late July.”

Despite the NFL’s reluctance to commit to Freeman, he’s still just 28-years-old and a viable enough talent to help an NFL roster. While he may no longer be the player who tied David Johnson for the lead-league in total touchdowns by a running back in 2015, Freeman’s multi-faceted skillset makes him a feasible placeholder for Barkley until 2021.

The former second-team All-Pro saw a downtick in his rushing prowess this past season, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the ground over his 14 games. With that said, he had averaged a far superior 4.53 ypc. over the five seasons prior. Not to mention, Freeman still remains one of the league’s better receiving backs, hauling in 59 receptions in 2019, ranked eighth-most amongst players at his position.

The Giants don’t have a clear answer to losing Barkley, who went down early in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears. But then again, no team would. Offseason addition Dion Lewis tried his best to shoulder the load in Barkley’s absence in Week 2, yet mustered up a mere 20-rushing yards on 10 carries.

Wayne Gallman, the only other running back on the Giants’ current roster, was a healthy scratch on Sunday. Expect Gallman to be tossed into action this coming week against a battered San Francisco 49ers team. Gallman has shown himself capable of producing as a go-to option in spot situations, most notably a 118-yard, two-touchdown performance back in Week 4 of last season.

Despite the duo of Lewis and Gallman, the Giants will be on the search for reinforcements in the backfield, a search which may just so happen to end with them adding a former two-time Pro Bowler into the fold.

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