Giants Urged to Replace Saquon Barkley With Colts’ RB

Saquon Barkley

Getty The New York Giants have been urged to replace RB Saquon Barkley with a free agent from the Indianapolis Colts.

Avoiding another protracted saga about Saquon Barkley’s future should be a priority for the New York Giants in 2024 NFL free agency. The best way would be to let the two-time Pro-Bowl running back test the market and replace him with Zack Moss of the Indianapolis Colts.

That’s the idea put forward by Dan Duggan of The Athletic. He thinks “if Barkley gets a strong offer on the market, the Giants should shake his hand and thank him for six years of exemplary service.”

Barkley leaving for pastures new is when Moss would enter the picture, per Duggan: “Then they should pivot to a cheap veteran, like Zack Moss (projected two-year, $7.5 million contract by PFF), in a loaded free-agent market and draft a back on Day 3.”

It’s a solid suggestion, even if Moss is not as dynamic nor as versatile as Barkley. Moss did play for Giants’ head coach Brian Daboll for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

Daboll knows Moss is a tough and resourceful veteran. The 26-year-old also proved he can handle a heavier workload when Colts’ All-Pro Jonathan Taylor dealt with injuries last season.

Zack Moss Would Be Functional Starter for Giants

Moss made eight starts and averaged 13.1 rushing attempts per game for the 9-8 Colts. It was the first time the 26-year-old was expected to handle a featured role on a weekly basis, but Moss averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry.

He was in strong form early in the season, gashing the Baltimore Ravens for 122 yards in Week 3. Moss showcased his patience and savvy by bouncing this run off tackle for a big gain, highlighted by Chris Shepherd of SB Nation’s Stampede Blue.

Things went even better for Moss two weeks later, when he ran through the Tennessee Titans for 165 yards on 23 carries. He turned two of those carries into touchdowns.

The first of those scores covered 56 yards and showed the breakaway speed within the 2020 NFL draft third-round pick’s game.

Moss makes plays in the running game, but he’s also a useful receiver and capable pass-protector. He made a career-high 37 catches in 2023, and 10 of those receptions moved the sticks for first downs, according to Pro Football Reference.

The best catch of Moss’ campaign burned the Ravens for a touchdown at M&T Bank Stadium.

Daboll could count on Moss quickly getting up to speed with the scheme the Giants run. While he wouldn’t be the 30-carry workhorse Barkley is, Moss’ all-round game would make him a solid supporting act for quarterback Daniel Jones.

Handing Moss a deal would also be a more cost-effective option than re-signing Barkley.

Saquon Barkley Payday Too Much for Giants

A market value projected by to be $9.9 million per year for three years likely makes Barkley too expensive for the Giants. The franchise is set to have $26,012,449 to work with under the salary cap.

It’s a decent number, but the Giants have more pressing needs than running back. Needs like fortifying the offensive line, retooling the secondary and adding a marquee playmaker at wide receiver.

Fixing those weaknesses should make a contract projected at $4.6 million annually for two years appealing. That’s what it could take to acquire Moss.

This deal would be a cheap compromise to suit both the Giants and Barkley. The latter wants to get paid and is already open to testing the market and letting the Giants match any offers if they so desire.