Giants’ free agent running back acquisition will offer great value at a fraction of the cost

Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) (New York Giants)
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Giants let Saquon Barkley sign a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, they aimed to maximize positional value and cut costs at a historically injury-prone position.

Giants Transition to Pass-Focused Offense After Saquon Barkley Departure

Losing Barkley will affect the offense, but the Giants had been overly reliant on him. Drafting Malik Nabers with the 6th overall pick, the team is shifting toward a pass-oriented approach while relying on a committee of running backs to replace Barkley’s production.

Devin Singletary Steps Up in New Role

Their key acquisition is Devin Singletary, who signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal, averaging $5.5 million per season with $9.5 million guaranteed. Although Barkley secured $26 million in guarantees and is the superior player, Singletary’s numbers indicate that the Giants shouldn’t see a significant drop in ground-game efficiency.

Last season, Barkley rushed for 962 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 2.91 yards after contact per attempt while forcing 31 missed tackles and securing 51 first downs. Meanwhile, Singletary, earning a fraction of Barkley’s salary, gained 986 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 2.88 yards after contact per attempt, with 36 missed tackles forced and 44 first downs.

nfl: afc wild card round-cleveland browns at houston texans, devin singletary, new york giants
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) in a 2024 AFC wild card game against the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Giants’ 30th-ranked run-blocking offensive line compared to Singletary’s 20th-ranked unit, Singletary had 238 attempts to Barkley’s 247, showing a minimal difference in workload. While a better offensive line would improve Barkley’s production, Singletary’s effectiveness after contact demonstrates his ability to consistently gain yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Although Barkley is the more talented player and will deliver value for the Eagles, the Giants made a smart roster move by reducing running back costs while adding a capable, hard-hitting player like Singletary.

Furthermore, the Giants used their fifth-round pick on Tyrone Tracy from Purdue, known for his balance and ability to break tackles. Singletary will be the primary back in a committee approach and will be crucial in gaining first downs and moving the chains.

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