The New York Giants have picked up a number of former Buffalo Bills players since Brian Daboll made the move from Western New York to the Meadowlands, but a new report suggests that a very high-profile player could be moving in the opposite direction.
The Giants had a Monday afternoon deadline to reach a long-term deal with running back Saquon Barkley after the team placed a $10.091 million franchise tag on him, but the two sides were unable to hammer out an extension. Barkley now returns to the Giants with an uncertain future, and SI.com’s Nathaniel Marrero suggests that the Bills could see whether the Giants might be willing to trade their unhappy star.
Bringing ‘Another Dimension’ to Bills’ Rushing Game
Marrero noted that the Bills could be primed to make a move for Barkley should he hit the trade block. The teams have an existing front office connection as former Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen is now the GM in New York.
Adding Barkley could also help the Bills achieve one of their top offseason priorities — taking pressure off quarterback Josh Allen and cutting down on his rushing attempts.
“If the Giants and Barkley can’t agree to a new contract, Buffalo has to at least inquire about the running back,” Marrero wrote. “Barkley would greatly improve a Bills running game that is far too reliant on Allen, who was second among quarterbacks in rushing yards in 2022. At some point, the hits he takes on a game-to-game basis will take their toll.
“Not only would Barkley help alleviate that concern, he’d add another dimension in the running and passing game that the Bills offense currently doesn’t have out of the backfield.”
The Bills have already overhauled their backfield, allowing top rusher Devin Singletary to leave in free agency and bringing in a pair of free agents in Damien Harris and Latavius Murray. While second-year back James Cook is expected to take over as the primary ballcarrier, the Bills are without a proven No. 1 back to lead their rushing game.
Signs of Trouble in New York?
Barkley has already shown signs of discontent. Just minutes before Monday’s deadline, he took to Twitter to share a cryptic statement that hinted he was unhappy with his contract situation.
“It is what it is,” Barkley wrote.
The tweet could be significant for a potential Bills trade given Beane’s history of monitoring social media and taking advantage of trade opportunities. As the team’s website noted, Beane reached out to the Minnesota Vikings in 2019 to inquire about whether wide receiver Stefon Diggs would be available, but was rebuffed. The next year, after Diggs tweeted “it’s time for a new beginning,” Beane pounced. He again reached out to the Vikings, who this time were willing to discuss a trade.
As Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted, the Giants could be in a similar situation with Barkley, a star player who may want a change of scenery.
“With the window closed on a multi-year deal, the question pivots to when Barkley could report,” Patra wrote. “Having not signed the tender, he’s not currently under contract, therefore, not subject to fines for skipping training camp, which begins July 25.”
Barkley did not rule out the idea of sitting out the 2023 season, Patra added, which could give the team more motivation to consider a trade.