After three straight years marred by injuries that have limited his availability and effectiveness, the 2022 season would be a big one for Giants running back Saquon Barkley under any circumstances.
It’s all the bigger because of Barkley’s contract situation. The Giants picked up their option on Barkley’s contract for this year, but any new deal will be reliant on Barkley showing that he’s still capable of doing big things out of the backfield.
Barkley said on Thursday that he wants “to show the Giants that the guy that they drafted is still here” after averaging 3.6 yards per carry last year. He was asked if he thinks the Giants will open contract talks if he’s able to show that early in the season.
“That’s a great question. Like I said, you can’t really focus about that stuff,” Barkley said, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “Honestly, that stuff is in the air and I know coming into Year 5 and coming into the option year — or whatever it’s called, something like that — my thing is just, and I keep saying, if I keep taking care of the little things and God blessed me and nothing crazy happens, I think the rest will take care of itself. I know where I’m at mentally. I know where I’m at physically. I know what I’m capable of doing. I’ve just got to focus on taking care of my mind, my mental and trying to be the best teammate I can be. And that is every single day and when the time comes it’s going to pay off.”
It seems unlikely that new Giants General Manager Joe Schoen would race to re-sign Barkley off a few good games, so a full season of health and productivity would be the best route for Barkley to take toward a new deal with the Giants or anyone else.