Giants could get tremendous value from new running back acquisition

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Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that caught fans by surprise, former New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. General manager Joe Schoen was unwilling to give Barkley $12.5 million per season instead of opting for a much cheaper alternative in Devin Singletary, who signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal.

Singletary will have a $3.75 million cap hit in 2024 and a $6.25 million cap hit in 2025. The Giants will then have an opportunity to get out of the contract after two years with a $1.25 million dead money charge, otherwise taking on a $6.5 million hit for the 2026 season when Singletary is 29 years old.

The value that the Giants are getting from Barkley actually doesn’t amount to too much, which should be an exciting fact to visualize when you realize that the Giants are saving $7 million per season on this contract compared to the one Saquon landed.

Comparing and Contrasting Running Back Stats

In fact, Barkley produced 962 yards on the ground last season, including six touchdowns and 3.9 yards per attempt. Alternatively, Singletary ran for 986 yards on nine fewer rushing attempts, including five touchdowns and 4.1 yards per carry.

Houston also had a below-average unblocking offensive line, albeit a bit better than the Giants’, which could be the marginal difference in their productivity.

However, according to PFF, Singletary actually had a better elusiveness rate compared to Barkley and also added 245 receiving yards compared to 280. Clearly, Singletary went step-for-step with Barkley’s production. If the Giants’ offense line takes a big step forward, which is expected given they were dead last in pass protection this past season, the value they will get out of Singletary will be unmatched.

A deal at $5.5 million per season on average compared to $12.5 million, which included $26 million guaranteed, will prove to be one of the better free agency moves Schoen made this off-season. The Giants may not get Saquon’s improved pass blocking from the running back position next year, but Singletary is capable of holding his own for the most part. The Giants are still considering adding another running back to develop a by-committee approach.

The Giants Are Still on the Prowl

The team was linked to former Green Bay Packers power back AJ Dillon, who would be a nice fit on an offense that is hoping to spread the wealth a bit more in the running game.

Instead of leaning on one player to produce, which is a risky play, given the injury probabilities, having several running backs handle the workload is a much more efficient strategy at this stage.

Normally, teams will spend on a running back if they are one piece away from a championship, which the Philadelphia Eagles believe they are. Barkley was a luxury item but one of the team’s primary leaders, and the Giants let him walk alongside Xavier McKinney.

The Giants hope to replace their leadership with new talent, and while Singletary may not be known for that variable, he is certainly a productive running back at a fraction of the cost.

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