Since being drafted by the New York Giants, Saquon Barkley has faced a lot of adversity. He had a breakout season his rookie year, but then was sidelined with a torn ACL. Upon his return, he wasn’t the same running back we were all used to seeing.
Then last year happened. Barkley reminded all of us why the Giants drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick. Not only did Barkley look like himself on the field again, but his numbers backed up the visual. He recorded 1,312 yards on 295 carries and 10 touchdowns, plus 57 receptions for 338 yards.
The way Barkley showed up last season has led NFL executives to praise him, earning the Pro Bowlers the No. 4 spot on ESPN’s top running backs list.
“He came with a running back mentality,” a veteran NFL offensive coach said. “He was physical, wasn’t dancing as much, and when he got to the second level, he was dangerous.”
“He still has the ability to break the game open at any point,” an NFC exec said.
Indeed, he does.
Barkley is currently in a standoff with the Giants regarding his 2023 contract, and it is vital that the team finds a way to keep him. It’s not just about his production on the field, it’s about how other teams prepare for the Giants when Barkley is out there, and how his teammates play without his presence.
Hopefully, the two sides will come to an agreement sooner than later.