Giants Could Land Super Bowl Champion RB: Analyst

Darrell Henderson

Getty Images Running back Darrell Henderson watches from the bench during a 2019 NFL game.

The New York Giants have a chance to sign a former starting running back.

NFL Trade Rumors writer Logan Ulrich believes a “top” potential landing spot for former Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson is the Giants. Henderson was waived by the Rams on November 22, just two days after playing in the team’s Week 11 loss against the New Orleans Saints.

The 25-year-old Henderson served as the Rams’ starting running back this season in seven of his 10 appearances.

Ulbrich explains how New York’s lack of depth behind Saquon Barkley is why the Giants should submit a claim for Henderson.

“The only back the Giants have behind Saquon Barkley of any note is Matt Breida,” wrote Ulbrich on November 22. “Adding Henderson gives them more depth for the rest of the 2022 season, and is a low-cost way to help fortify a potential playoff push.”

Other than the Giants, Ublrich named the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens as other potential leading landing spots for Henderson.

Henderson Has Produced in Last Two Seasons

Henderson, a former consensus All-American at the University of Memphis, was drafted by the Rams in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft. He split carries with Cam Akers in 2020 and Sony Michel during the 2021 season and ran for 600 yards and five touchdowns in each of those years.

According to Pro Football Focus, Henderson recorded an 80.4 offensive grade during the 2020 season and a 68.7 offensive grade during the 2021 season. He ranked 15th among all running backs (with a minimum of 100 snaps) in offensive grade during the 2020 season and 36th in offensive grade during the 2021 season.

Unfortunately, Henderson suffered an MCL sprain in Week 16 in 2021 and was placed on injured reserve on December 28. He finished the regular season with a career-high 688 yards and five rushing touchdowns and 29 receptions for 176 yards and three touchdowns. He was activated off injured reserve in time for Super Bowl LVI.

In the Super Bowl, Henderson had four carries for seven yards and caught three receptions for 43 yards in the team’s 23-20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Why Henderson Signing With New York Isn’t Likely

Henderson started 28 of his 50 career appearances with the Rams. However, Henderson’s playing time decreased mightily in the team’s most recent game against the Saints, recording just four snaps in the game. Akers and rookie Kyren Williams saw action on 94 percent of the offensive snaps.

After playing 15 games in the last two seasons due to injury, Barkley is second in the league in rushing yards (953), only behind Derrick Henry (1010). The Giants have also asked Barkley to rush 213 times, which is the second-most in the NFL, only behind Henry as well (230).

The Giants’ playoff hopes rest squarely on Barkley and his availability. Breida is a very important piece for the Giants down the stretch.

But it doesn’t feel like the Giants are likely to sign Henderson, considering their lack of depth at the running back position. General manager Joe Schoen has yet to put a claim in for a running back this season and the team has just $2.5 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.

And if the Giants wanted to claim Henderson, their 7-3 record makes it hard to add highly-coveted players off the waiver wire. The waiver wire is based on the current draft order. Unlike in recent years, the Giants have a winning record in 2022 and aren’t in a favorable position in waiver wire priority to add whoever has become available.

Still, the Giants have a below-average passing game that’s averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt. If they were to add, it would be for free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham, who’s reportedly scheduled to meet the team after Thanksgiving. The team’s talent is extremely barren at the wideout position.

New York won’t be the only suitor, however, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on November 20 that Beckham will visit with both the Cowboys and the Giants following their Thanksgiving game in Week 12.

The Giants could use depth at the running back spot. But barring no injuries to either Barkley or Breida, it doesn’t appear that the team has an urgency to give thought to signing a running back.

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