ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky knows the New York Giants have a lot of work to do in order to start competing as a franchise. He believes the first thing the team should do is figure out the trade market for running back Saquon Barkley.
“To start, number one is to see if I can get trade value for Saquon Barkley,” Orlovsky said this week on “SportsCenter.” “Now, Saquon is still a tremendous talent, but the reality is in the last three seasons Saquon has missed 20 games. As a tailback in the NFL that doesn’t happen. In those three seasons he’s rushed for a total of 1,600 yards. That’s just not good enough. I understand that’s with a bad offensive line. But that line is not just going to get better this year. Figure out if you can get trade value for him.”
The Giants drafted Barkley second overall in 2018, and after a Pro Bowl rookie season it has been all downhill with injuries and low production.
After another disastrous season, their eighth losing campaign in the past 10 seasons, the Giants cleaned house. There is a new regime in place, led by general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. Now is the time to strip down the roster and bring in as much talent and depth as possible and build.
This isn’t a quick-fix assignment. If Giants ownership wants to have sustained excellence the hard, painstaking work happens in the first few years of a new regime.
It’s NFL Scouting Combine week in Indianapolis, and Schoen and Daboll are saying all the right things. There are no firm, locked commitments regarding players and their positions on the depth chart. Coaches will do everything they can to put players in successful positions, but they’ll ultimately have to execute.
Giants GM Joe Schoen says Daniel Jones “is our starting quarterback right now”
— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) March 1, 2022
The Giants own the No. 5 and 7 picks in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. Nine draft picks in total, with five in the top 80. Saquon would likely get them another first, or at the very least an early second if the league is down on him.
More picks give the team more bites at the apple and young talent at team-friendly deals to help manage the NFL’s hard cap.
If Daboll and his staff believe Barkley is still their running back to build with they should keep him. But given their likely long-term rebuild he might just age out.
It would be tough for Giants fans to watch Barkley succeed on another team, to be sure. But if he can’t succeed with this team because they’re not ready, why not move him if he can bring back good value?
One of the mistakes teams often make is falling in love with their own draft picks. Sometimes you’re so close it’s hard to see the warts. That isn’t limited to Barkley. We’re looking at you, Daniel Jones …
Schoen has a roster that needs to be upgraded just about everywhere. So he has to be flexible and exhaust all possible options to help make this team better. That should include looking at trade value for Barkley.
GM Joe Schoen talks free agency & draft plans
— New York Giants (@Giants) March 1, 2022
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