Giants would take calls for RB Barkley, says GM

Raiders to hire McDaniels as new coach

4:28 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS – Saquon Barkley is not untouchable. The New York Giants are at least willing to entertain phone calls on the talented running back, new general manager Joe Schoen said Tuesday at the NFL combine.

This is the result of a new regime, difficult salary cap situation and an injury-filled three seasons for Barkley. The Giants are currently estimated at more than $11 million over the cap, according to the roster management system. They will have to shed excess weight by cutting or trading some quality players.

Among the possibilities appears to be moving Barkley, who is guaranteed $7.217 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract for 2022. “We’re still working through that, but I’m open to everything,” Schoen said. “Like 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 [that] we’re open for business on the entire roster. 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 what are best for the New York Giants.”

Schoen had a much different tone when asked specifically about quarterback Daniel Jones and wide receiver Kadarius Toney, last year’s first-round pick out of the University of Florida who struggled to stay on the field because of injuries.

Their imminent futures appear more certain with the Giants, even if the team’s brass indicated there hasn’t been a decision on Jones’ fifth-year option. That is due this spring.

“We’re going to bring in competition everywhere, but Daniel Jones is our starting quarterback right now,” Schoen said.

This reiterated the comments from Schoen and new coach Brian Daboll during their introductory press conferences, when they indicated the offense would be built around Jones’ skillset.

Toney, 23, was the 20th overall selection just last year. He had 39 receptions for 420 yards in 10 games (four starts) as a rookie. They are looking forward to him being a part of the new offense as well.

“I don’t think Kadarius is a tradable piece,” Schoen said about the young playmaker. “Again, if somebody calls, we’re going to listen. He’s a good, young player who our coaches really like. We’ve been in constant contact with him and we’re excited to see what he can do.”

Regardless, there are going to be some notable moves. Schoen wants to clear some $40 million in cap space in the next few weeks.

Cornerback James Bradberry ($21.8 million cap hit), tight end Kyle Rudolph ($7.4 million) and punter Riley Dixon ($3.12 million) are some of the potential moves. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard ($12.5 million) off an Achilles injury is another contract that could be adjusted or addressed in some capacity.

“Soon,” Schoen said of when the cap-cutting would start. It will be before the start of free agency in just over two weeks.

In the meantime, the Giants have lots of contingency plans. There are several ways they can reach Schoen’s intended goal.

Barkley could be the biggest name to be a victim of the cap casualties. He had 2,028 total yards as a rookie. He’s had 2,391 in the three seasons since, in large part because of injury. It was an ankle sprain in 2019, torn ACL the following year and a problem with the other ankle this past season. It has greatly affected his production and value.

But the Giants still think Barkley is a great player … when healthy. If he stays with the team, he will be a big part of the offense.

“I think if you have good players you try to get the ball in their hands as much as possible. Whoever that may be – a running back, tight end, receiver,” Daboll said. “Saquon is a good players for us. We’ll do our best to try to put him in a good position.”

Source: ESPN NFL


Author: Ellen Garcia