Giants ‘Looking at’ 2 Dual-Threat RBs to Replace Saquon Barkley: Report

Saquon Barkley

Getty The New York Giants are "looking at" 2 dual-threat RBs as possible replacements for Saquon Barkley.

The New York Giants aren’t rushing to bring back Saquon Barkley, and they could even replace him with either Austin Ekeler or Tony Pollard. Both dual-threat running backs are among the options the Giants are “looking at,” according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Ekeler was the NFL’s co-leader in touchdowns for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021. Meanwhile, the Giants know Pollard well, from his back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons with NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys.

Pollard and the Giants’ RB1 could swap teams since “there are some people in the league who believe the Cowboys will pursue Saquon Barkley, per Fowler.”

Letting Barkley go is a risk by the Giants, and while neither Ekeler nor Pollard possess the same workhorse qualities, they would each bring some versatility to a struggling offense.

Austin Ekeler a Red-Zone Threat the Giants Need

Ekeler’s nose for the end zone would be a welcome change for the Giants. Big Blue mustered a mere 10 rushing touchdowns last season, 20 fewer than Ekeler’s managed the last three years.

The 28-year-old zeroes in whenever he’s in goal-line situations. Like when Ekeler powered over from the 1-yard line against the Miami Dolphins in the season’s opening week.

Barkley could dominate between the 20s, but the Giants didn’t call his number often enough closer to pay-dirt.

The worrying trend cost them when the Giants instead called a play-action pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to tight end Darren Waller from the 1-yard line against the Buffalo Bills in Week 6. Taylor’s pass fell incomplete and the Giants lost 14-9.

A similar mistake cost the Giants when head coach Brian Daboll wouldn’t give Barkley the ball on 4th-and-short during a 13-10 overtime defeat to the New York Jets. A Barkley run wasn’t the go-to call, even though he’d rushed for 128 yards.

Ekeler is a superior goal-line and short-yardage runner, and he’d also offer an upgrade to Barkley as a receiver. He had a 92-catch season in 2019 and posted 107 more receptions in 2022, per Pro Football Reference.

Ekeler snagged 56 fewer catches last season, but he still turned one grab into this touchdown against the Chicago Bears.

The upgrades in Ekeler’s game would cost a bargain $7.4 million annually for three years, according to That makes him a bargain, but it might be worth paying more for the game-breaking speed Pollard possesses.

Tony Pollard More of a Field-Stretcher Than Saquon Barkley

Pollard can stress defenses on the ground and through the air. He’s got the kind of speed opposing teams fear.

That acceleration shows up whenever Pollard gets the ball in his hands. Like on this screen pass against the Minnesota Vikings in 2022.

Letting Pollard attack the edges and cutback lanes are the keys to No. 20 manufacturing big plays. It’s what he’s done for fun the last two years, including posting six runs of 20-plus yards last season.

One of the best of those six came against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11.

Even in what was considered a down year, Pollard still rushed for 1,005 yards and caught 55 passes. There are doubts about his ability to continue as a lead back, but Pollard would be a quarterback-friendly, run-pass option for under-fire starter Daniel Jones.

That’s worth the Giants paying $6.5 million per year for two years.

Read More