Giants’ HC Brian Daboll defends Saquon Barkley over trade rumors

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This off-season, the New York Giants have been heavily connected to the trade market regarding two impact players — running back Saquon Barkley and cornerback James Bradberry.

The Giants don’t have much choice but to trade Bradberry, given the $11.7 million they can say from his contract, which would be allocated toward the team‘s rookie draft class this off-season. However, there is an argument that sending Barkley on his way is also a benefit, given the team likely won’t extend him on a big contract after this upcoming season.

Teams across the NFL have had tremendous success developing strong running schemes and injecting mid-round picks into the position. Unfortunately, having a luxury back like Saquon isn’t entirely necessary, but it seems as if management wants to keep him around for the sake of Daniel Jones’s development.

Barkley and Jones have been on the same roster for three seasons, but the running back has been injured for the majority of that time, tearing his ACL in 2020 and dealing with ankle injuries in 2021. The chemistry is something to note, though, and given Barkley’s electrifying athleticism, new head coach Brian Daboll likely wants to dabble with his capabilities.

The former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator came to the defense of Barkley, noting that he is a human first and deserves a bit of empathy while trade rumors circulate.

“When things come out, I try to stay on top of it,’’ Daboll said, via the NY Post. “I have kids that are 22 and 21 years old. They’re people first. It’s important to show a little empathy too to the guys in the situations they’re in. I know it’s a tough business but I think it’s a people business too.’’

Back in 2018, Barkley amassed over 2000 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, making him one of the best RBs in the NFL. Since then, his production has fallen off a cliff, and the injury bug has continuously taken hold. There is still hope he can return to his previous form, but he needs to provide consistency first.

With the new coaching staff developing an offensive scheme, utilizing Barkley would be exciting. The Giants failed to get the most out of him when he was on the field under the leadership of Jason Garrett, but given Daboll’s history and ability to extract value out of players, Saquon could be in for a great season.

Nonetheless, even if Barkley dominates, the Giants will have difficulty justifying a big contract extension. You can argue that trading him now and saving the $7.2 million would be more beneficial. General manager Joe Schoen already indicated the teams have called regarding Barkley’s status, so there is interest despite not shopping him around.