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Giants running back Saquon Barkley ‘starting to get that swagger back’

Giants' Saquon Barkley spoke highly of his new teammate Evan Neal.
Giants’ Saquon Barkley participates in a practice at the NFL football team’s training facility.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Giants Pro-Bowl running back Saquon Barkley is “trusting his body” again after a recent spate of injuries for the star rusher, and that’s helped him regain his confidence heading into training camp. 

“I’m starting to get that swagger back,” Barkley told reporters. “When you can trust your body, your confidence just grows.” 

The Penn State product is coming off a relatively-lackluster season, where he played in 13 games, and landed 47th in the NFL in rushing-yards-per attempt with just 3.7.

At 25 years old, Barkley is due to make $7.2 million in the upcoming season, which sparked rumors that the Big Blue front office could look to move the running back this offseason with a trade, as they deal with cap space troubles — though rookie general manager Joe Schoen has not yet made any serious moves involving Barkley. 

“We’re still working through that, but I’m open to everything,” Schoen said on March 1. “Whether it’s trading player for player, I’ll listen to anybody. If it’s trading a couple players — I’m not going to say the entire roster — we’re open for business… But if anyone is going to call and they’re interested in any of our players. I’m certainly going to listen.”

He will be an unrestricted free agent following this season. 

For more coverage of Saquon Barkley and the Giants, head to amNY.com.

The 2018 2nd overall NFL Draft pick out of State College has dealt with significant health problems in his 4-year professional career, including a torn ACL in a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears in 2020. 

Now, though, Barkley said he has become increasingly aware of the need to keep his body healthy heading into his 5th year. 

“I would say the difference [from college to now] was I was a way more confident player in college and early in my career than I was prior to last year,” he said. “My body feels really good…but you have to keep on it.” 

“My body feels good. My body feels strong. I’ve got my strength back. I feel like I got my speed back. I feel like I can trust in my knee again. Trust in myself to make plays and not think about it.”

Meanwhile, rookie head coach Brian Daboll, who comes to MetLife Stadium after a stint with the Buffalo Bills, praised what he’s seen from Barkley this offseason, as the Giants head into mandatory minicamp. 

“The routes we are asking him to run, his quickness, his ability to get in and out of breaks, his long speed, it has all looked good,” the coach said. 

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