The Giants’ running back unit looks a lot different

Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) celebrates after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports, new york giants
Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have taken a significant step in redefining their backfield this offseason following the departure of star running back Saquon Barkley to the Philadelphia Eagles. Barkley’s new three-year contract with the Eagles includes a $26 million guarantee, a financial commitment the Giants chose not to match as they recalibrate their team strategy under General Manager Joe Schoen.

Giants Revamp Running Back Corps for the New Season

In place of Barkley, the Giants opted for a more cost-effective approach by signing Devin Singletary to a three-year deal worth $16.5 million, with $9.5 million guaranteed at signing. This move reflects a broader strategy to allocate resources more efficiently while still fielding a competitive team.

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Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Alongside Singletary, the Giants have infused fresh talent into their running back room with the addition of rookies Dante Miller and Tyrone Tracy. Miller, who had to sit out the 2023 season, brings potential and fresh legs to the unit. Tracy, a fifth-round pick from Purdue, presents a particularly interesting case.

Originally a wide receiver, he transitioned to running back, where he doesn’t carry the typical wear and tear that other backs might. Last season, Tracy averaged 6.3 yards per carry, amassing 714 yards and eight touchdowns. His dual-threat capability was evident as he also excelled in the passing game, making him a versatile asset for the Giants’ evolving offense.

Tracy’s transition into the NFL will be closely watched, as he has the potential to become a starter. His development will be crucial, especially as he learns from and potentially succeeds Singletary as the primary back. Singletary’s first season with Houston last year saw him gain 986 yards and score five touchdowns over 238 carries, proving his ability to produce effectively as a lead back.

With the inclusion of Eric Gray, another former late-round option out of Oklahoma, the Giants are setting up a competitive environment that fosters growth and resilience. While the loss of Barkley marks the end of an era, the Giants’ shift towards a more pass-oriented offense underlines their commitment to adapting and optimizing their strategic approach.

This strategic overhaul at the running back position not only helps the Giants manage their salary cap more prudently but also aligns with their broader team-building philosophy aimed at achieving sustainable success.

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