OTA’s and other offseason programs are underway for most NFL and the New York Giants are one of those teams. Big Blue is looking to make it back to back years of postseason after making the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016. The Giants front office did a great job during free agency and the NFL Draft after getting key players to fix their team like trading for tight end Darren Waller, signing wideouts Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder and drafting other start players like cornerback Deonte Banks from Maryland, wide receiver Jalin Hyatt from Tennesee and center John Michael Schmitz from Minnesota.
All in all, a great offseason and with the roster that they have right now, the Giants should be able to back in the playoffs and compete with the Eagles and Cowboys for the NFC East title. But, with the OTA’s beginning, one key player is still absent due to a contract dispute. That would be star running back Saquon Barkley. This is an issue that the team must resolve and despite drafting a running back, Eric Gray from Oklahoma, the team will regress without Barkley if he is not present for the start of the season.
After signing quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year contract worth up to $160 million, they would place the franchise tag on Barkley. That did not sit well with the pro bowl running back, as he has not been present at the start of the offseason programs and if somehow, he is not present for training camp or for week one against the Dallas Cowboys, this offseason will regress.
The Giants offense only scored more than 30 points once during the regular season and again in the postseason because their air attack was not as sharp. In 2022, the Giants only average under 200 yards passing but ranked in the top four in the league in rushing yards. While the Giants did add more wide receivers for Jones to play with, the running attack is the main strength of the Giants offense. He needs to be out on the field for week one.
I understand that the team does not want to pay Barkley a lot of money and that makes sense. There have always been problems paying running backs high amounts, such as deals like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott. Those did not pan out, but the Giants should be able to find some sensible deal for both sides. They must realize that Matt Breida and Eric Gray are not the same as Saquon Barkley. Barkley can build off the career season that he had a year ago so the Giants must come to an agreement on a contract with Barkley or else the offense will regress. Without Barkley in the mix, the Giants offense won’t be nearly at the same level as the Eagles or Cowboys.