Giants’ rivals listed as potential free agent landing spot for star RB Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs with the ball as Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) defends during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are at risk of losing superstar RB Saquon Barkley in free agency this offseason. Barkley has said that he is prepared to hit the open market with an open mind and could find himself a new home in 2024 despite his desire to remain a “Giant for life.”

Giants fans’ worst fears could soon be realized this offseason. Not only could Barkley leave in free agency, but he could end up landing elsewhere in the NFC East. Pro Football Focus recently listed the Dallas Cowboys as a top landing spot for Barkley in free agency.

PFF lists the Cowboys as a top landing spot for Saquon Barkley

In PFF’s Brad Spielberger’s latest article listing potential landing spots for top running backs and tight ends, Barkley was connected to the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans:

“The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones are never one to shy away from larger investments at the running back position, and Jones spent the better part of a decade reemphasizing that the offense ran through Ezekiel Elliott,” Spielberger wrote. “Dallas in this scenario brings in a legitimate three-down back who can be another pass catcher for Dak Prescott while also capitalizing more often in short-yardage and goal-line situations than Tony Pollard did in 2023.

“Houston got all it could out of free agent acquisition Devin Singletary, and it appears upshot 2022 rookie Dameon Pierce is not a great fit in the run scheme. Barkley can get to the edge well in outside zone and make defenders miss in space while also taking pressure off C.J. Stroud. The Texans should have had a much higher pass rate in 2023 and too often deployed a run-run-pass sequence, but Barkley is also an asset as a pass catcher and pass blocker.”

Spielberger gives solid reasoning behind the Cowboys and Texans being top landing spots for Barkley. Dallas and Houston could both be losing their starting rushers to free agency this offseason. And with both teams possessing playoff-caliber rosters, Barkley could be attracted to their respective organizations.

Joining the Cowboys or Texans would give Barkley an opportunity to play alongside other stars on offense and compete in the postseason. These are two attractions the Giants likely will not have in 2024.

Could the Giants lose Barkley to Dallas?

Barkley leaving to sign within the division would be heart-breaking for the Giants. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has become a star in New York, rushing for over 1,000 yards three times and winning the 2018 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

The Giants’ offense was mostly inept this past season but still benefited from the greatness of Barkley. He rushed for 962 and six touchdowns across 14 games and also added 41 receptions for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Losing Barkley would be a tremendous blow to Big Blue’s offense.

The possibility of Barkley jumping ship for Dallas does seem real, though. Just last month, former Cowboys and Giants wide receiver Cole Beasley teased the idea on social media:

Barkley gave an interesting response to Beasley’s post. In the past, Barkley has never entertained such posts nor hinted at any eventual departure from the Big Apple. However, his tone has changed this offseason and Barkley now seems more open to suiting up elsewhere. The Giants will continue negotiating with Barkley in March at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. But there is still no telling whether or not the two sides will be able to come to terms on a new contract extension.

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