Giants Make Matt Barkley Decision Ahead of Tyrod Taylor’s Return

Matt Barkley

Getty The New York Giants made a decision about quarterback Matt Barkley after Tyrod Taylor returned from injured reserve.

Matt Barkley has been waived by the New York Giants, but the quarterback might still have a future with the team. Especially if primary backup Tyrod Taylor is ready to feature in some capacity against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, after returning from injured reserve on Monday, December 4.

Barkley and fellow passer Jacob Eason were both let go on Monday, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who also confirmed Barkley will “be re-signed to practice squad as insurance.”

Barkley played for head coach Brian Daboll for three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, but his status had to be changed after Taylor’s comeback from a rib injury.

The 34-year-old was at practice on Monday, per the Giants.

Taylor’s potential comeback could spark a QB controversy given how well undrafted free agent Tommy DeVito has performed. DeVito’s surprising emergence was another reason Barkley didn’t get onto the field for the Giants, despite his knowledge of the Daboll playbook.

Matt Barkley’s Giants Stint Hasn’t Gone as Planned

Barkley last got onto the field for a game in the NFL on Daboll’s watch back in 2020. He was limited to mop-up duty while starting signal-caller Josh Allen was on the sidelines, but Barkley will be disappointed not to have gotten more opportunities with the Giants.

After all, he joined Big Blue on Tuesday, October 31, when both Taylor and QB1 Daniel Jones were on the shelf. Barkley’s main competition was DeVito, while former Indianapolis Colts’ passer Eason soon joined them both on the practice squad.

Like Barkley, Eason was also a former fourth-round draft pick. They both had a better pedigree than one-time Illinois and Syracuse quarterback DeVito, but the latter still proved to be Daboll’s choice.

It’s proved to be the right choice, with DeVito leading the Giants to back-to-back wins over the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots. Those victories make DeVito look like a lock to start against the Pack, but Taylor’s also put a notch in the win column for the Giants this season.

Tyrod Taylor’s Proved He Can Win With Giants

Taylor threw two touchdown passes when the Giants bested the Commanders 14-7 in Week 7. He’d also caught the eye during a tough 14-9 loss to the Bills a week earlier.

Those performances had some, including Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar, believing the Giants are more effective with Taylor in the lineup. Farrar made the comparison with Jones and noted how Taylor performed better on vertical throws of “20+ air yards.”

Taylor showed off his arm talent with this well-placed, lofted throw against the Bills, highlighted by Bobby Skinner of Talkin’ Giants.

Taylor’s overall numbers endorsed Farrar’s argument. The journeyman backup averaged 7.7 intended air yards per attempt, according to Pro Football Reference, compared with DeVito’s tally of 7.2.

Pushing the ball vertically has been a challenge for the Giants during Daboll’s tenure. Returning Taylor to the lineup is the obvious way to solve the problem.

DeVito’s popular and he’s winning, but a more experienced presence could help the Giants continue their recent mini revival. The value of experience extends to the Giants brining 33-year-old Barkley back, ensuring Daboll keeps the QB room stocked with players who know his scheme well.