Could Giants’ new RB signing James Robinson steal a roster spot?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts, james robinson, new york giants
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants signed veteran RB James Robinson on Friday afternoon after failing to extend Saquon Barkley on the franchise tag. Robinson played most recently for the New York Jets, appearing in four games for Gang Green in 2022. Entering 2023, Robinson has switched to the other locker room in MetLife Stadium, signing with the Giants just ahead of training camp.

Robinson will battle with the four other running backs currently on the Giants’ roster with the hope of stealing a roster spot for the regular season.

James Robinson will compete with four other Giants running backs for a roster spot

New York currently has five running backs on their roster (not including Barkley): James Robinson, Matt Breida, Eric Gray, Gary Brightwell, and Jashaun Corbin.

Robinson will need to compete with the other four backs to earn himself a roster spot. Breida, entering his second season with the Giants, and Gray, the team’s fifth-round draft choice this year, will be Robinson’s biggest competition.

Gray is a lock to make the roster as a rookie draft pick with a bright, long-term future. Breida, however, could be dethroned if Robinson can impress throughout training camp. But Breida does have an edge as a player entering his second season with the team and his third season under Brian Daboll’s tutelage. Breida was coached by Daboll while he was still the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills in 2021.

Why James Robinson could steal a roster spot:

Robinson is a former 1,000-yard rusher, totaling 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He appeared to have a bright future following such an impressive rookie season, but Robinson was put into the dog house as a sophomore and eventually traded away in 2022.

The Jets acquired Robinson via trade midway through last season. He went on to total 85 rushing yards on 29 attempts and also added two receptions for five yards and one touchdown in four games for the Jets. Robinson has rushed for 2,262 yards and 18 touchdowns across 39 career games.

At only 24 years old, Robinson still has time to turn his career around. He is a strong runner that can contribute as a receiver out of the backfield, making Robinson an ideal complementary back. However, he will need to outperform Gray and Breida throughout training camp and preseason if he wants to make the final roster.