Giants’ star running back brushes off trade rumors

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With a 1-5 record casting a shadow over their season, the New York Giants face tough decisions as the trade deadline looms. Their upcoming game against the Washington Commanders in Week 7 is pivotal, with injuries forcing them to contemplate significant roster changes.

Expiring Contracts Highlight Giants’ Trade Options

As the Giants navigate a disappointing start, players with expiring contracts emerge as logical trade assets. Key figures such as Adoree Jackson, Leonard Williams, Xavier McKinney, and star running back Saquon Barkley could potentially be on the move.

Barkley, 26, inked a one-year, $10.1 million contract for the 2023 season. However, injuries sidelining him for several games have cast doubt on his future with the Giants, potentially impacting long-term contract prospects.

Relying on Barkley: A Double-Edged Sword

The Giants’ heavy reliance on Barkley has arguably stunted their offensive development, contributing to a weak passing game and a struggling offensive line. Although not directly responsible for these issues, the focus on Barkley has spotlighted the decision-making of former general manager Dave Gettleman and his successor, Joe Schoen.

When confronted with trade speculation, Barkley expressed his desire to stay, telling ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, “Everyone knows how I feel. Everyone knows I don’t want to be traded.” Despite his stance, persistent injuries and fluctuating performance raise questions about his fit with the Giants’ future plans.

This season, Barkley’s contributions have been limited due to health, featuring in just three games with 207 rushing yards, 46 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. Facing these realities, the Giants could opt to redirect the substantial funds from a potential $12 million franchise tag to other strategic uses, like targeting free agents or retaining rising talents, including possibly McKinney.

Week 7: A Defining Moment

The outcome of the Week 7 clash with Washington could set the tone for imminent roster shifts. A defeat might signal a willingness to entertain trade offers, feeding into a broader narrative of rebuilding. This approach might also ignite discussions about drafting a fresh quarterback, indicating a phased shift away from Daniel Jones.

As speculation mounts, the Giants stand at a crossroads, with each forthcoming decision bearing hefty implications for the team’s direction and identity.

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