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Saquon Barkley Says He Wants to Show Giants 'The Guy That They Drafted Is Still Here'

Doric SamJuly 28, 2022

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he has something to prove.

"I just want to show the Giants that the guy that they drafted is still here," Barkley told reporters after the team's second training camp practice on Thursday.

New York selected Barkley second overall in 2018 and he made an immediate impact, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie and winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Through his first two seasons, Barkley missed only three games and totaled 3,469 scrimmage yards and 23 touchdowns.

While Barkley appeared to be arguably the most promising young running back in the NFL, his promising career trajectory took a hit when he suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season. The Giants still picked up his $7.2 million fifth-year option prior to his return in 2021.

Barkley struggled to regain the form from his first two years in the league. In 13 games last season, he carried the ball 162 times for 593 yards and two touchdowns. The four games he missed were due to an ankle injury suffered in Week 5, plus a stint in COVID-19 protocols.

However, Barkley looks to have gotten back to his old self this summer. The 25-year-old is expected to thrive in the offense installed by new Giants head coach Brian Daboll, which will use him frequently as a receiver out of the backfield.

"I can still go out there and make the plays and help my team be successful," he said. "And that is the only thing I'm focusing on—taking care of myself, taking care of my body, taking care of my mental and trying to be the best teammate I can be."

Despite playing in a contract year, Barkley said he isn't putting too much pressure on himself because he has faith that he'll be able to prove his worth this year.

"Honestly, that stuff is in the air and I know coming into Year 5 and coming into the option year—or whatever it's called, something like that—my thing is just, and I keep saying, if I keep taking care of the little things and God blessed me and nothing crazy happens, I think the rest will take care of itself," he said.

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