Saquon Barkley has an uncertain future with the New York Giants, and that has some eyeing the 25-year-old running back’s potential fit with other teams around the NFL.
Barkley was the first player named in a recently published article titled “NFL Players Who Should Be On The Trade Block in 2022” by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report. Knox projects that the Giants could get a second- or third-round draft pick in a trade for Barkley.
“While a healthy Barkley could help get more out of [Daniel] Jones, he could also bring much-needed value in a trade,” Knox wrote for B/R. “His guaranteed $7.2 million salary isn’t excessive, and the Giants might be able to pry a high Day 2 pick from a contender if they’re willing to absorb some of it.”
Knox then gave his opinion on Barkley’s best fit: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to win now and could use another dual-threat running back after losing Ronald Jones II in free agency,” Knox wrote. “Tampa has $10.5 million in cap space available and could afford to add Barkley as another outlet option for Tom Brady.”
Barkley was drafted with the second-overall pick in 2018 by former general manager Dave Gettleman. Since Gettleman’s departure earlier this offseason, Barkley has been the subject of rampant trade rumors. He addressed those rumors during a press conference back in April.
“I just want to kill, go crazy,” Barkley said at the time. “I’m tired of the BS that is said about me. I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still there.”
Barkley was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, but he has battled multiple injuries since then. Barkley’s 2021 comeback from a torn ACL was muted, as he finished last season with just 856 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns.
Will the Giants ACTUALLY Trade Saquon?
Things could go south in a hurry before the NFL trade deadline in early November, but the Giants are not currently acting like a team that’s itching to deal Saquon Barkley. New head coach Brian Daboll has been spotted working closely with Barkley at practice, and he recently said he’s “glad” to have Barkley on the team.
“He’s been good,” Daboll said of Barkley, via SNY Giants on Twitter. “He’s been able to do everything we’ve asked him to do … I see a talented player. I’m glad he’s on our team. I look forward to working with him. He’s been great since I’ve been here.”
That last part about Barkley being able to do everything Daboll’s staff has asked him to do is particularly interesting, because it says a lot about the team’s real plan for him in 2022.
The Giants’ REAL Plan For Saquon in 2022
The Giants’ may not be actively dealing Barkley, but they are trying to move him — around the offense that is. Barkley has been lining up all over Daboll’s offense, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, and is getting more reps as a receiver.
Dan Duggan of The Athletic reported that running back swing passes (following pre-snap motion toward the sideline) are “a lock to be featured” in Daboll’s offense this season. That sounds like a team that’s building around Barkley’s skill set rather than shopping it.