Giants’ Saquon Barkley named a player who should be on the trade block

Ever since the New York Giants selected running back Saquon Barkley second overall in the 2018 NFL draft, the pick has been surrounded by criticism and ridicule.

Barkley, of course, went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season. However, things have declined since then. With the way injuries have hindered Barkley’s career, his 2022 campaign will go a long way in determining his future with Big Blue.

There’s no doubting Barkley’s talent when healthy but an argument could be made that his value has never been lower than it is right now as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

This week, Bleacher Report released a list of “NFL Players Who Should Be On The Trade Block In 2022” and among those on the list was Barkley.

While a healthy Barkley could help get more out of Jones, he could also bring much-needed value in a trade. His guaranteed $7.2 million salary isn’t excessive, and the Giants might be able to pry a high Day 2 pick from a contender if they’re willing to absorb some of it.

The alternative for New York is letting Barkley play out his contract and then deciding whether to invest heavily in an up-and-down running back with a lengthy injury history. That’s a tough position for a franchise that isn’t ready to compete now.

Barkley could have his best season yet in 2022 if he can stay healthy. Especially given that the Giants should have the best offensive line they’ve fielded in years behind the blocking of first-round picks Andrew Thomas (2020) and Evan Neal (2022.) Still, given Barkley’s injury history, the Giants may want to seek compensation for their star running back while they still can — although a trade does sound unlikely.

With Big Blue in the middle of a rebuild, it’s hard to gauge where the new regime sees Barkley fitting in the future of the team. The Penn State product would likely draw interest from a contender. In Bleacher Report’s ideal trade scenario, they suggest a trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With Tom Brady back for what may be his final run coupled with Ronald Jones’ departure, Barkley would fit nicely into the Bucs high-powered pass-first offense.

This isn’t the first time it was suggested the Giants should seek out a trade partner to trade Barkley. However, Barkley is determined to prove to the doubters that he can be the star the Giants envisioned when they drafted him.

In a perfect world, the Giants would rather utilize Barkley’s talent to build around for the future. With head coach Brian Daboll coming from the pass-heavy Buffalo Bills, it’s also hard to pinpoint what kind of offensive identity Big Blue will have.

Barkley will likely go down as one of, if not the most controversial picks in Giants history. Whether or not he should be on the trade block, this year will determine an awful lot for the future of Barkley.