It has been four years since the New York Giants experienced the best of Saquon Barkley at just the ripe age of 21 years old. Barkley amassed 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns during his rookie season. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and earned a Pro Bowl nod, setting the stage for an illustrious career filled with success and explosive playmaking abilities.
However, Barkley has become yet another reason to pass on big-name running backs in the first round, especially since the Giants will have to pay him $7.2 million this season in a rebuilding year. Saquon has been exposed to poor offensive schematics, consistent turnover on the coaching staff, and plenty of injuries to go along with the plethora of negatives the Giants have endured over the past four years.
Nonetheless, Saquon hasn’t lost his optimism, despite fighting through a significantly injury and multiple ankle issues over the past two seasons.
Recently, the Giants embarked on a full coaching staff overhaul, bringing on Brian Daboll to be the team’s new head coach and Joe Schoen to lead their front office.
So far, Barkley is extremely excited by the energy that Daboll has brought from the Buffalo Bills, hinting at the new style of offense they will deploy in 2022 given they retain the running back for the last year of his rookie contract.
“I love the energy, I love the conversation I had with him,” Barkley said Friday, via the New York Post. “I think he and the GM Joe Schoen they’re doing an amazing job right now. I can’t wait to get back in April.”
Barkley specifically speaks about building a scheme around player strengths, something that the Giants have failed to do miserably in recent seasons. Jason Garrett forced his team to play a prehistoric system developed by Norv Turner back in 2004.
Of course, the offensive line didn’t help much either, but management is focused on improving the trenches, providing Daniel Jones and Barkley with more protection at the line of scrimmage.
“I think one, the energy that he’s bringing and the conversations about the way he’s going to relate the offense to the players and make the system work for the players,” Barkley said. “Obviously I think with Joe Schoen, what he’s going to do in free agency and the draft to build the team. I think we have the talent on the team. I truly don’t think we’re that far. We just have to keep working.”
It is extremely unlikely the Giants extend Barkley on a long-term deal, mainly after totaling just 593 yards and two rushing scores in 2021. Unless Barkley breaks out and becomes one of the best running backs in football once again, there is practically no chance Schoen offers him a big deal. Buffalo featured the league’s 3rd ranked offense last season, with two mid-round picks leading their RB corps — Zack Moss and Devin Singletary.
There’s always the possibility the Giants try to recoup the $7.2 million they owe Saquon via trade, but the expectation is that the Giants will roll with him for the remainder of his rookie deal, trying to bring the best out of him with a healthy blend of Daboll and my Kafka’s schematics, dipped in the spread and dynamic West Coast style offenses.