The New York Giants are going to attempt to severely overhaul their roster this offseason. New general manager Joe Schoen is eager to put his spin on a roster that is unfortunately loaded with holes and bloated contracts. The Giants are currently $5 million above the salary cap, via Spotrac. It represents an unfavorable situation for a franchise that largely lacks high-end talent. Schoen will be forced to get creative this offseason as he attempts to create financial freedom and breathing room. While speaking with the media on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Schoen confirmed he's willing to entertain trade offers on running back Saquon Barkley. It makes a ton of sense on the surface. Barkley is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract after ex-GM Dave Gettleman exercised his fifth-year option. Barkley is set to earn a guaranteed salary of $7.2 million in 2022, and any trading team would incur the entire cost of the contract. It represents a manageable cap hit for any team that may possess an interest in taking on Barkley as a high-level reclamation project. Injuries have derailed Barkley's previous two campaigns, but he's still an ascending player with the elite traits that were consistently on display at Penn State. Schoen didn't draft Barkley, and he joined the Giants from a Buffalo Bills franchise that field high-flying offensive attacks without the presence of a high-priced, household name at the running back position. The chances of Barkley getting dealt this offseason are excellent. We've identified three potential suitors for Barkley's services.
HOUSTON TEXANSThe Texans desperately need to add playmakers to their roster this offseason. A team that was largely devoid of talent last season is going to undeniably look different in 2022. Running back David Johnson is finally coming off of the books after earning $5 million in 2021. Danny Amendola, Chris Conley, and Royce Freeman are also scheduled to reach free agency. Brandin Cooks is a legitimate candidate to be traded this offseason in exchange for future and immediate draft capital. The Texans don't possess much in terms of proven offensive talent outside of Cooks. Houston has seemingly committed to former Stanford quarterback Davis Mills for the time being. Mills enjoyed a surprisingly successful rookie campaign despite finding himself in a less-than-ideal environment. The impending offseason should center around providing Mills with more talent both at running back and wide receiver. Barkley's dual-threat ability as a runner and pass-catcher would undoubtedly be put to use in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's offense. Hamilton's goal should be to help slow the game down for Mills in Year 2, and acquiring an outlet in the passing game such as Barkley would certainly help do the trick. The Texans currently possess $17.7 million in cap space, and a boatload of additional money will be created once Deshaun Watson is finally traded. The Texans have the need and financial means necessary to justify a Barkley trade. Barkley would do the heavy lifting in this offense.
NEW YORK JETSThe Jets are in a similar position to the Texans, only with a bigger investment at the quarterback position. General manager Joe Douglas must spend the offseason acquiring talent to surround franchise signal-caller Zach Wilson with. Wilson's play significantly improved down the stretch, and the Jets must do everything within their power to invest in his continued development. Rookie running back Michael Carter experienced a fruitful rookie campaign, but the former North Carolina standout will always be best utilized as part of a healthy rotation. Tevin Coleman is a free agent and has struggled to stay healthy throughout the course of his career. Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur joined the Jets from a San Francisco 49ers team that prioritizes the usage of multiple running backs. The Jets also need more talented pass-catchers, and although those upgrades could come in the form of additional receivers and tight ends, it's impossible to underrate what Barkley provides as a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield. The Jets also rank in the top 10 of available cap space, with more than $44 million in available money. Moving from the Giants to the Jets means Barkley wouldn't have to go far, and they could provide the opportunity he's looking for.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFSThis would really be something. The aggressive Kansas City Chiefs are always searching for ways to one-up their fierce competition. Acquiring Barkley would signal a steadfast commitment to reaching Super Bowl LVII. The AFC is loaded with high-flying contenders that include the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. All three franchises are expected to spend the offseason searching for ways to gain the upper hand in a conference that's bursting at the seams with elite QB play and offensive talent. The Chiefs are in a decent position against the salary cap, currently possessing more than $11 million in available money. Additional wiggle room will be created and general manager Brett Veach has shown a willingness to take a second chance on players. The Chiefs have added Josh Gordon, Jerick McKinnon, Le'Veon Bell, and LeSean McCoy to their roster in recent seasons. Furthermore, running back Darrel Williams is an unrestricted free agent and could aim to land more money and opportunity elsewhere. McKinnon is also a free agent. Pairing Barkley in a backfield with Patrick Mahomes and Clyde Edwards-Helaire could provide the environment necessary to help get Barkley's career back on track. The desperate Giants could accept a day-three pick in exchange for Barkley. This would signal a low-risk, high-reward move for Veach and the Chiefs.
- Aug 22, 2022
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