Whispers of the New York Giants moving on from Saquon Barkley began to truly surface midway through last season and have risen in volume since the conclusion of a highly-disappointing 2021 campaign. With a new regime in East Rutherford and Barkley entering a contract year in 2022, the idea of the Giants parting ways with their once-perceived franchise cornerstone has become a reasonable possibility.
With free agency looming, New York remains approximately $7.6 million over the salary cap, while Barkley is scheduled to earn $7.2 million this coming season. According to Peter King of NBC Sports, new general manager Joe Schoen is keen on clearing north of $40 million from the books and on March 1, left the door open for a potential Barkley exit this offseason.
“We’re still working through that, but I’m open to anything. Like whether it’s trading player for player. I’ll listen to anybody,” Schoen told reporters at the NFL scouting combine when asked about possibly trading Barkley, via NFL.com. “I’m not going to say we’re open for business on our entire roster. But if anybody is going to call and they’re interested in any of our players, I’ll certainly listen.”
Schoen added, “We’re in a situation where unfortunately we have to get under the salary cap and we’re not in very good salary cap health. I’m not going to say yes to every deal, but I’m definitely going to listen and be open to situations that are best for the New York Giants.”
‘Most Likely’ Outcome for Barkley & the Giants
Despite Schoen’s comments amping Barkley trade chatter, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport isn’t buying into the likelihood that New York parts ways with the former No. 2 overall pick this offseason.
“As far as Saquon Barkley, this is the right thing for Joe Schoen. He is the new general manager. He comes from a place in Buffalo where they are always open to a deal — he is always willing to consider a trade,” Rapoport said on March 1. “You mention trading Saquon Barkley and them being open to it. To me, it doesn’t seem realistic. He did not have a great year last year, he was banged up. He’s got a fully guaranteed salary that someone would have to pick up. If you’re the Giants, if you’re going to pay even a little bit of the salary, you might as well see if that player could be very good for you because there is a reason the organization drafted him.”
While Schoen may be open for business, the NFL insider isn’t buying into the prospect of No. 26 toting the rock for another team next season.
“I don’t see Saquon Barkley being traded. To me, the most likely scenario is him being with the Giants, playing it out and having a decision at the end of next year,” he stated.
Barkley Prefers Staying With Giants
If Rapoport’s prediction comes to fruition, chances are Barkley will be more than happy with the outcome. According to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, the Penn State product would prefer to remain a member of the Giants — and by the sound of it, the feeling may be mutual.
“Saquon Barkley wants to stay and Giants need to be blown away to trade him, sources say. ‘If he was traded to a team with just a decent offensive line,’ one NFL coach said, ‘he could make them really regret it,'” Dunleavy tweeted on March 5.
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