For New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the last couple of seasons have been frustrating, to say the least. After beginning his NFL career with 2,310 rushing yards in his first two seasons, he’s only had 627 yards rushing the past two seasons. Barkley started 29 of a possible 32 games in his first two seasons. But in the last two seasons he’s played in only 15 of a possible 33 games due to various injuries.
Barkley also accumulated 143 receptions for 1,159 yards and six touchdowns in his first two seasons, which dwindled to 47 catches for 323 yards and just two touchdowns. While many have written off the former Penn State Nittany Lions stud, he says not so fast.
During a recent appearance on the “2nd Wind” podcast, Barkley had a lot to say.
He started with, “F—k everybody. I’m ready to go crazy.”
“Just probably being fed up and not even with like the outside noise, but just even with having to sit out games and rehab and all that, all the bad stuff I guess you could say,” Barkley continued. “I guess I’m kind of just fed up with that. So, that kind of just takes me to a place where I am right now. I’m just happy, enjoying life, enjoying the game I love, and I just want to go out there and have fun.”
Tell the coach don't take me out, I like to finish games 🎶🎶 pic.twitter.com/8CYklpDSmg
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) October 4, 2021
Barkley has already proved he has all the tools; in fact, he was once considered a generational talent. But with the injury bug plaguing him, questions loom about Barkley’s NFL future.
Barkley Says He Doesn’t Wanna Use Injuries As An Excuse
Barkley says he isn’t one to use the injuries as an excuse, but they have to be factored in because they’ve literally cost him the past two seasons.
“I really didn’t have as much of a time just with how the rehab process went with my knee to get myself ready [last year],” Barkley said. “And now I don’t have that [problem]. I have the whole camp to come out every single day and do a joint practice against another team, to go against [our defense] and all those guys. Find ways to get better and build that chemistry with our offensive line.”
“I’m ready. I’m ready to go.”
Hearing Saquon say he’s healthy has to be sweet music to Giants coaches, players and fans ears. A healthy and fully engaged Barkley ignites the entire Giants offense, and protects quarterback Daniel Jones, who’s much better with a reliable running game.
Back at it 🛫🛫 pic.twitter.com/VrbcTTrTVv
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) September 21, 2019
Giants Picked Up Barkley’s Fifth-Year Option: But Declined To Offer Extension
The Giants picked up Barkley’s fifth-year option in April 2021 but declined to sign their star to a lucrative long-term extension.
At the time, owner John Mara said the team was in no hurry to extend Barkley. In August of last year, GM Dave Gettleman (since fired), said at a news conference that he was open to signing Barkley to an extension despite his stand on not negotiating during the season, but that never came to fruition.
“I think that it depends upon the guy. I think it depends on where the team is at. I used to feel like it was bad idea, but not so much now. Have I changed my idea on that? Yes. I’m a lot more flexible on that.”
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) June 26, 2022
Now Barkley is set to play out the final season of his contract with no security beyond this season. He’s got a lot to prove, and if he’s healthy he’s more than capable of doing so.