Giants general manager Joe Schoen added fuel to the fire that is the rumor mill on Tuesday when he admitted that anything was on the table regarding potentially trading running back Saquon Barkley.
“We’re still working through that, but I’m open to everything,” Schoen said. “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.
“Again, we’re in a situation where unfortunately we have to get under the salary cap. We’re not in very good salary-cap health. Again, I’m not going to say yes to every deal, but I’m definitely going to listen and be open to the situations that are best for the New York Giants.”
Trade talks surrounding Barkley are usually a precarious perch to set oneself upon. The Bronx native was the second overall pick of the 2018 draft and immediately burst onto the scene as one of the more explosive playmakers in the league. Over his first two seasons, which included the winning of the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, Barkley recorded 2,310 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns with a total of 3,469 yards from scrimmage.
Injuries, however, have derailed his career. A high-ankle sprain cost him three games in 2019 before a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season eliminated most of his campaign. Even on the comeback trail in 2021, another ankle injury cost him four games.
A porous Giants offensive line hasn’t helped, but Barkley’s numbers are a shell of what they were. In 15 games over the last two seasons, he’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry with 627 total rushing yards.
Considering the organizational funk that the Giants have been in over the last five seasons — they posted double-digit losses in each of those campaigns — Schoen has a ton of work to do to get this franchise pointed in the right direction. It’s an even tougher task when considering they began the offseason roughly $23 million over the cap.
After cutting tight end Kyle Rudolph and running back Devontae Booker, Barkley’s guaranteed $7.2 million is being looked at as a logical contract to trade in order to get off the books.
But considering the draft capital they spent on him and the height of his ceiling — a full return to health and a decent offensive line could still result in quite the resurgence — the Giants would only let Barkley go for the perfect price.
Teams told NFL insider Jordan Schultz that the Giants would be looking for a sizable haul, likely a first-round draft pick, if they did want to part ways with their running back.
The thing is, running backs don’t go for that high on the trade market – as seen in recent history.
Recent running back trade history
|Year||Running back traded||Traded By||Traded To||Return|
|2021||Mark Ingram||Houston Texans||New Orleans Saints||2024 7th Round Pick|
|2021||Sony Michel||New England Patriots||Los Angeles Rams||
-2022 6th Round Pick
-2023 4th Round Pick
-2021 7th Round Pick
|Kansas City Chiefs||Miami Dolphins||2021 6th Round Pick|
-2021 6th Round Pick
|Las Vegas Raiders||Miami Dolphins||2021 4th Round Pick|
|2020||Matt Breida||San Francisco 49ers||Miami Dolphins||2020 5th Round Pick|
-2020 2nd Round Pick
-2021 4th Round Pick
|Houston Texans||Arizona Cardinals||
-2020 4th Round Pick
|2019||Kenyan Drake||Miami Dolphins||Arizona Cardinals||2020 6th Round Pick|
|2019||Duke Johnson||Cleveland Browns||Houston Texans||2020 3rd Round Pick|
|2018||Carlos Hyde||Cleveland Browns||Jacksonville Jaguars||2019 5th Round Pick|
Granted, none of these running backs listed held the sort of promise that the 25-year-old Barkley does. And no organization will ever get fleeced like the Houston Texans did when trading for David Johnson two years ago. So it would take quite the risk for a team to offer up a first-round pick for a running back that has been hobbled by injuries over the last three seasons.
Should such an offer come, however, then the ball is firmly in Schoen’s hands on whether or not he wants to trade away the running back who was once tabbed as the next all-time franchise great.