Folks, over the past few days I’ve seen a lot of Giants fans say that the team should trade Saquon Barkley. This is something I’ve been personally saying for about two years now.
While many people used to say that I was crazy to insinuate such a thing, more are starting to come around. It’s clear that the Giants are going nowhere this season and the absolute worst thing that this cap strapped football team can do is sign Saquon Barkley to a long term, big money extension.
It goes beyond just the simple fact that paying running backs is a mistake. Saquon Barkley isn’t very good at running the football on a down to down basis. Throughout his career, he’s refused to get the tough yardage. He’s made a living off of hitting home runs but they don’t come around very often these days. In fact, just 45% of Saquon Barkley’s career rushing yards come on just 5.9% of his attempts.
That number isn’t going to help the Giants stay ahead of the chains. It’s essentially hoping for a home run to happen instead of working to move the ball up the field.
Matt from 366 Sports was kind enough to make this spreadsheet breaking down Saquon Barkley’s career carries:
Outside of 31 carries greater than 15 yards, he averages just 2.72 yards per carry. That could not have been the plan when the Giants drafted him at number two overall.
And I know that all of the Saquon lovers will say “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE” over and over again but the reality is that when you take a running back second overall and pay him, you lose resources that you can use towards bettering the offensive line. Virtually no team that has paid a running back is glad that they did so and the Giants will be no different. The Giants would be better off getting an asset for Saquon Barkley in this year’s upcoming draft, even if it’s just a second or third round pick, that they can use on a player whose impact isn’t dependent on factors outside of his control.
The Giants should trade Saquon Barkley but when it’s all said and done, they won’t. That would require this team looking in the mirror and admitting that almost everything they’ve done the past four offseasons has backfired which is something that the Giants simply don’t do. They would rather continue to put optics over putting a good team on the football field which is what bad organizations do. Over the last five seasons, no organization has been worse than the Giants.
Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons