Every NFL team is doing its own version of soul searching to see what its 2022 roster should look like including the New York Giants who finished 4-13 in 2021.
With a new coach, Brian Daboll who is the former Bills offensive coordinator, the obvious question is what pieces of the Giants offense will he want to keep?
Is Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, who is playing under his fifth-year option, a component of the offense that Daboll will want to keep or trade?
There are valid arguments on both sides of this issue.
However, at this point, it seems most prudent for the Giants to hold on to Barkley.
Here are the reasons why.
1. New Coach
As mentioned above, Daboll is the offensive guru that got the Bills’ offense running successfully with Josh Allen.
Daboll did not have the benefit of an outstanding running back like Barkley in Buffalo so presumably, he would like to work with him.
Barkley, given some offensive line protection and a sound game plan, is capable of performing at a very high level if he can stay healthy.
Saquon Barkley is worth keeping and letting him play in a Daboll/Kafka scheme with an upgraded Oline on the final year of his contract! That will allow Danny(Marino)Jones or another QB to play up too their full potential!
— RAHMMAGICK (@rahmmagick) February 7, 2022
2. Fifth Year Option
Barkley is playing for a contract extension.
He has made it clear he would like to stay in New York.
Barkley has even more motivation to perform at a high level and with a new coach, now is the time for the Giants to find out what Barkley is capable of before extending him or trading him.
“I think I’ve made it clear that this is the place that drafted me, I’d love to be here forever”
Saquon Barkley says he hasn’t had time to focus on his contract but does say he’d love to be with the Giants for the rest of his career: pic.twitter.com/VJQvytqB3B
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 23, 2021
3. Minimal Return On Investment For A Trade
With all of this being said, it has been reported that the Giants put feelers out for a potential trade of Barkley.
The asking price is extremely high, reportedly a first-round pick, according to Jordan Schultz.
Spoke with two teams, both of whom told me the #Giants’ potential asking price for Saquon Barkley was very significant. One assistant GM also said: “I don’t get the sense they actually want to trade him. To me, this is just postering, but Joe [Schoen] would want a 1.”
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 2, 2022
The Giants are not going to get that.
Some believe the asking price is deliberately high because they really don’t want to trade Barkley in the first place.
Just want to go on the record.
I do not believe trading for Saquon Barkley is prudent or smart.
He is current the 10th richest RB contract, can’t stay on the field, and seeing where running back value has been found the last few years in the draft, it’s a hard pass. pic.twitter.com/2AnqJbU0NU
— SportsRoc (@SportsRoc2) February 7, 2022
Bigger Question Mark For Giants Offense Is Daniel Jones
Keeping Daniel Jones as the starting quarterback is a bigger decision for the Giants than how to handle Barkley.
There has always been a question about him since the Giants drafted him so much earlier than anyone expected him to go in the 2019 NFL Draft at the No. 6 overall spot.
To be fair, he has not had protection, but he also has not been great either.
He is a hard worker and is certainly trying to achieve success but efforts have been disappointing so far.
Will the Giants exercise his fifth-year option by May 2?
It is really unclear where and how the Giants will start to rebuild this team with a new GM (Joe Schoen) and head coach.
There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of paths to get there.
Barkley and Jones are key pieces of the offensive puzzle whose fates need to be decided upon sooner rather than later.