Saquon Barkley Trade Rumors: Latest on Giants RB's Future and Potential Suitors

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2022

Saquon Barkley Trade Rumors: Latest on Giants RB's Future and Potential Suitors

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The start of the 2022 NFL year is nearly here. The new league year (along with free agency) will begin on March 16. However, teams can begin contacting and negotiating with players at noon ET on Monday.

    While free agency will largely dominate the headlines over the next several days, trades will also be part of the action. We've already seen several trades—including those of Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Amari Cooper—impact the NFL landscape.

    Might a trade of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley be next?

    Barkley has been hampered by injuries over the last couple of seasons but showcased his Pro Bowl potential as a rookie in 2018. New York needs to completely overhaul a roster that hasn't been over .500 in the last five years, and dealing Barkley just might help the franchise do that.

    Here, we'll dive into the latest buzz surrounding Barkley and dive into some potential landing spots  should he wind up on the move in 2022.

'Sense' That Barkley Won't Be in New York This Season

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    While there hasn't been a ton of buzz about the Giants actively shopping Barkley ahead of free agency, ESPN's Dan Graziano believes that the running back could be on his way out.

    "More and more, I'm getting the sense that Saquon Barkley won't be on the Giants in 2022," Graziano wrote.

    As Graziano noted, the Giants have admitted that they're open to moving Barkley and are hoping that a potential contender comes calling:

    "The team is open to trading him, as GM Joe Schoen indicated at the combine. And while his $7.2 million salary isn't the top target in New York's cap-saving efforts, it would help. The Giants' hope is that a contending team with a need for one more explosive player on offense (Buffalo or Arizona?) might offer a midround pick for Barkley"

    The Buffalo Bills would make sense, as they had a good but not great rushing attack in 2021. 

Others Get the Sense That New York Doesn't Want to Move Barkley

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    While the Giants are open to trading Barkley, not everyone is convinced that they truly want to.

    According to Jordan Schultz of The Game Day NFL, New York is pricing Barkley as if it doesn't want to trade the running back. He tweeted:

    "Spoke with two teams, both of whom told me the Giants' potential asking price for Saquon Barkley was very significant. One assistant GM also said: 'I don't get the sense they actually want to trade him. To me, this is just postering, but Joe [Schoen] would want a 1.'"

    Schultz's report is quite different from Graziano's, which suggested that New York would accept a mid-round pick for Barkley. The reality, though, is that the Giants could ask for a first-round pick and still settle for much less if the deal makes sense from a rebuilding standpoint.

    Barkley is, after all, entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Other Potential Suitors

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Should Barkley be on the trade block at a reasonable price, there are a few teams that would make sense as potential suitors.

    The Miami Dolphins are armed with the second-most cap space in the NFL and have a significant need for a workhorse running back. New head coach Mike McDaniel utilized a run-first scheme as offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers and could look to pair Barkley with third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Miami.

    The New York Jets appear to have a solid starter in Michael Carter but need to upgrade the offensive talent around second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. The Chicago Bears are in a similar position with running back David Montgomery and quarterback Justin Fields.

    Then, there are the 49ers themselves, who will likely look to maintain a run-first identity with quarterback Trey Lance. San Francisco has a strong starter in Elijah Mitchell but is set to lose both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. in free agency.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could also be a wild card now that quarterback Tom Brady has announced his plans to play in 2022.

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