New Giants head coach Brian Daboll has spoken with Saquon Barkley about recent public trade rumors surrounding the team’s star running back, the coach said on Tuesday.
“I’ve talked to Saquon. I’ve talked to Saquon a fair amount,” Daboll told SNY. “It’s important to show a little empathy to the guys in the situations that they’re in within this league. I know it’s a tough business, but I think it’s a people business too.”
“They’re people first.”
Barkley, who came to the Giants as the second-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has been a rare bright-spot on the G-men’s offense, rushing for 4.5 yards-per-attempt, while scoring 19 touchdowns in 44 games played.
Injuries have been a problem for the former Penn State Nittany Lion, including a season-ending ACL tear in Week 2 of the 2020 season.
The fan-favorite rusher has been the target of several trade rumors in recent weeks, which comes as the Giants look to aide their league-worst cap situation.
Reports suggest the team would seek a 4th round NFL Draft selection, at the very minimum, in exchange for Barkley in a trade.
[READ ALSO: Saquon Barkley trade rumors continue to heat up]
As another possibility, the Giants could keep Barkley through the start of the season, and look to trade him to a possible contender as they make a playoff run.
Either way, the rookie head coach, who previously served as the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, said he was intent on being “upfront” with his new team.
“The more upfront and transparent you can be — and look, this time of year, there’s a million things being said. Some are probably true, and some are probably not true,” he said. “But I like being transparent with these guys, and letting them know where I stand…I think showing empathy goes a long way.”
Meanwhile, new general manager Joe Schoen said last month that the team would be open to discussions about any trades during the NFL Combine, but denied specifically shopping Barkley.
Those comments sparked renewed rumors about the running back, but Schoen later denied any pending moves.
“We’ve had a great relationship since I’ve been here. I’ve got a really good relationship with his agent, and I spoke with her during the combine,” Schoen said. “That was taken a little bit out of context at the combine.”
The Giants now head towards the NFL Draft on April 28 with the #5 and #7 overall picks.
[READ ALSO: Who could the Giants target in the 2022 NFL Draft?]