The start of the offseason featured speculation about whether the Giants would try to trade running back Saquon Barkley ahead of his fifth NFL season, but the Giants did little to suggest that was something they wanted to do and Barkley is at the team’s voluntary minicamp this week.
The fact that trading Barkley was a thought four years after the Giants took him second overall is a sign of how things have not gone as planned for Barkley or the Giants. Barkley’s rookie season was a huge success individually, but the Giants were 5-11 and Barkley had the first of three injury-interrupted seasons in 2019. He tore his ACL in the second week of the 2020 season and returned to run for 593 yards and two touchdowns on 162 carries in 13 games last year.
Barkley now enters the final year of his contract as a symbol of the misguided moves former General Manager Dave Gettleman made while the Giants went 22-59 over the last five seasons and the question marks have led some to write him off as a difference maker on offense. On Wednesday, Barkley said his goals are to prove those people wrong and the Giants right.
“I just want to kill, go crazy,” Barkley said, via WFAN.com. “I don’t want to jump the gun. It’s a long way until September and the start of the regular season, but to be honest, I’m tired of whatever’s written about me, the BS that is said about me or this team. I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still there, and I can still do special things with the ball in my hand.”
If Barkley proves that’s the case, it will make for an interesting decision for the Giants after the season about where they think things will go in Year 6 and beyond.