Saquon Barkley talking of Giants’ future is growing uncomfortable with his status uncertain

Saquon Barkley talking of Giants’ future is growing uncomfortable with his status uncertain
Video saquon barkley and the giants

He is looking ahead and making a case for what has to happen for the Giants to get out of this losing rut they are in. Saquon Barkley is trapped in it, just like all the teammates accompanying him on an unsatisfying and unproductive ride, interrupted, briefly, by last year’s departure from losing.

Barkley was speaking dispassionately not long after the Giants punched the clock with a listless and tame 24-6 loss to the Saints. The bags were being packed up around him and soon Barkley and the Giants would board the charter flight that would take them away from New Orleans, leaving behind scant remnants of quality football or memorable, well, anything.

When things start going badly, Barkley theorized, the Giants have no idea how to hit the reset button. When the action starts tilting in the wrong direction, he observed, there is not much capability to muscle up and change course.

Saquon Barkley walks off the field after their loss to the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on Sunday.
Saquon Barkley walks off the field after their loss to the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on Sunday. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“It’s part of the league, you try your best to stay away from it but sometimes games like that are gonna happen,” Barkley said. “We got to do a better job, collectively, of putting ourselves in better positions to make plays and when the plays come, making those plays when things are going bad and we didn’t do it. If you look at a lot of our games this year, the games we lost and the games that got out of hand, we never stopped the bleeding. It’s been a common theme in the games that have been bad for us this year. We got to find a way to get better in those situations.”

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It is growing increasingly uncomfortable hearing Barkley talk about what needs to happen when there is a decent chance he will be trying to make it happen somewhere else. His contract expires when this season comes to an end and now we know for sure that end will come after the Week 18 game against the Eagles at MetLife Stadium. When Barkley cleans out his locker after the Giants miss out on the playoffs for the fifth time in his six seasons wearing No. 26 for Big Blue there is no guarantee he will ever return to restock that locker.

There are building blocks in place and it is difficult to envision general manager Joe Schoen projecting Barkley as part of the continuing rebuild in the same fashion as Andrew Thomas, Wan’Dale Robinson, John Michael Schmitz, Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Bobby Okereke and Deonte Banks. This does not mean Barkley is a goner for sure but the money, the terms and the stars will all have to be properly aligned to produce a deal that makes sense for both sides. It nearly did not happen for 2023 before Barkley agreed to re-up for a one-year and $10.1 million. Barkley, who turns 27 on Feb. 9, is finishing up a season in which he again missed time (three games) with an injury and is struggling behind an inconsistent offensive line to get to the finish line with 1,000 rushing yards. He is at 797 and at his current pace will finish with 1,014. Falling short is indeed a possibility, considering the way the Saints manhandled the Giants up front. He is 14th among all NFL running backs in rushing.

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“Like a pro,” coach Brian Daboll said on Monday, when asked how Barkley handles himself when he gets denied so often at the line of scrimmage.

Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the second half at Caesars Superdome.
Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Barkley’s take that this group of Giants needs to grow the resiliency gene is an accurate but incomplete observation. There are all sorts of euphemisms thrown around when a team is 5-9 and falling short hither and yon. Barkley is not going to come out and say the Giants are not good enough, that the talent level needs an upgrade. He does not have to verbalize what is already clear. It is as obvious as his ugly stat line against the Saints — nine rushes for 14 yards — that the offensive line needs two and maybe three new starters. As for the quarterback moving forward, that is a miniseries for another day, but suffice it to say legions of Giants fans will not be pumping their fists with unbridled joy if the news drifts in this summer that Daniel Jones’ rehab from knee surgery is ahead of schedule and that he will be ready for the season opener.

If not for the three-game reprieve filled with all the Tommy DeVito shenanigans — heck, it was all good, harmless fun, wasn’t it? — the doomsaying that rose up at 2-8 would have reached a fevered pitch. It is back and likely here to stay until this season wraps up. It is Christmas Day in Philadelphia and then a rematch with the Eagles back in Jersey on Jan. 7, with a home game against the eyeing-the-playoffs Rams stuck in-between. The Giants, and Barkley, for the rest of the way in another spoiled season will try to be spoilers, a role which has become all-too familiar to them.

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