New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen has made every indication he plans to build around Daniel Jones for the 2022 season, but that strategy could change if he fails to make the necessary jump forward with his development. Schoen also stated that the team isn’t “shopping” Saquon Barkley, despite taking up $7.2 million in salary and offering little beyond the 2022 season unless extended on a big contract, which is unlikely.
You could make a strong argument that trading Barkley now is the best decision, but the Giants haven’t shown they are necessarily interested in executing that method. Barkley is coming off his third consecutive down season, dealing with multiple ankle injuries and a torn ACL in 2020.
The most logical reason behind keeping Barkley is to help prop up Jones in his development. Taking away a prime offensive player may do more damage than good, but that extra $7.2 million could be re-allocated toward the offensive line, which is a legitimate argument.
Former Giants running back Tiki Barber had a few hot takes regarding Barkley’s retention and building around Jones.
Barber dropped a few hot takes on his WFAN show “Tiki & Tierney,” stating:
“The reason I think they should try to trade Saquon is because if you’re going to zero to get your cap in order, just do it,” Barber said. “Don’t try to mitigate the pain by keeping a popular player here. If you’re resetting, it’s a new regime, new philosophy…go all in. if you’re doing this and it’s gonna be painful, you’ve got to just go all in.
Barber’s first take has a logical standpoint, especially when considering the salary cap situation the Giants are currently in. Schoen has spent every last penny trying to improve the roster without dipping below the salary cap, but with the 2022 NFL draft coming up, he will have to trade either James Bradberry or Barkley to sign his rookie class.
Barber didn’t stop at the idea of moving on from Barkley, also making the argument that if Daniel Jones isn’t going to be a top 10 quarterback, what is the point of continuing to build around him?
“If [Jones is] not gonna be a top-10 quarterback, then why are you worried about figuring him out and trying to get a little bit above average quarterback? He’s never gonna be a top 10, maybe he’s 15. Do you trust him to be like Eli [Manning] was? You trusted Eli because even if he was average, because if you got in a critical situation, he was showing up. You could count on that from Eli. Can you count on that from Daniel Jones?”
On paper, these both read as hot takes, but they’re legitimate questions the Giants have to answer this upcoming season. There is a realistic possibility that the team moves on from both offensive players next off-season, hitting the reset button fully.