Giants Can Replace Matt Breida With Super Bowl Champion

Matt Breida

Getty The New York Giants can replace Matt Breida with a Super Bowl champion RB in free agecy.

Reshuffling the deck at running back appears inevitable for the New York Giants this offseason, whether Saquon Barkley stays or goes. Barkley’s still waiting to get paid, but his primary backup Matt Breida is also a free agent, a problem the Giants can solve by signing Clyde Edwards-Helaire from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in 2024 NFL free agency.

Bringing Breida back “is an option, though the Giants might be able to find an affordable free-agent upgrade in a player like Zack Moss or Clyde Edwards-Helaire,” according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox.

Edwards-Helaire would make a nice supporting act to Barkley if the Giants work out a way to keep No. 26 at MetLife Stadium. Knox believes “Barkley’s lengthy injury history is a significant concern, as is his projected market value of $9.9 million annually.”

As former starter for the Chiefs and two-time Super Bowl winner, Edwards-Helaire would offer the Giants credible cover for their RB1. If Barkley doesn’t get a new deal, Edwards-Helaire would step straight into the starting lineup and give a stagnant offense a legitimate dual-threat playmaker out of the backfield.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire a Good Fit for Giants

His workload has been reduced in recent seasons, but Edwards-Helaire is still a good fit for modern offenses. He’s a committed runner, solid in pass protection and has an excellent understanding of routes as a receiver.

The 24-year-old showed off his ability to adjust his route to help his quarterback when he snagged this touchdown catch from Patrick Mahomes against the New England Patriots in Week 15. Edwards-Helaire also displayed excellent hands on the play.

Being supplanted by seventh-round draft pick Isiah Pacheco showed how Edwards-Helaire has struggled to establish himself in the ground game.

Ball security has been a problem. The former LSU standout fumbled twice in 2021 and lost another fumble during last season’s playoffs, per Pro Football Reference.

When he has thrived as a runner, Edwards-Helaire’s proved elusive and tough to bring down. He’s broken 29 tackles during four years in the pros.

Adding Edwards-Helaire in free agency would be a bargain way for the Giants to get a new RB1. Or at least a credible and versatile backup.

A market value projected by as $1.6 million for 2024 should put Edwards-Helaire near the top of the Giants’ shopping list. Especially since retaining Barkley and Breida will be a challenge.

Matt Breida Would Struggle to Replace Saquon Barkley

Breida was a serviceable deputy during the 2022 season, but the 28-year-old would struggle to replace Barkley as the focal point of Big Blue’s running game. He knows the playbook well, having played for head coach Brian Daboll with the Buffalo Bills in 2021, but Breida is not as dynamic, nor as versatile as Edwards-Helaire.

Pairing a low-cost veteran like Edwards-Helaire, or perhaps Zack Moss of the Indianapolis Colts, with a rookie runner would overhaul the backfield at a fraction of the cost of re-signing Barkley. Knox pointed out how “a prospect like Florida’s Trey Benson could make sense on Day 2.”

Using the tag on Barkley is an option, but it looks unlikely the Giants will go that route. Barkley is also reticent to accept the tag.

Letting Barkley test the market and replacing Breida with Edwards-Helaire would solve a lot of problems for the Giants.

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