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Saquon Barkley wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

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Giants’ rookie bests Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield for honor

NFL: NFL Honors-Red Carpet
Saquon Barkley on the red carpet Saturday.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after a record-setting first season.

Barkley had made a wager with Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield over who would win the award. Looks Barkley will be getting a chain from Mayfield.

Per, Barkley got 26.5 votes to 21.5 for Mayfield. Quenton Nelson received two votes.

Barkley was also named FedEx Ground Player of the Year on Saturday afternoon. The other finalists were Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs won the FedEx Air Player of the Year award.

The No. 2 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Barkley caught 91 passes in 2018, including a single-game franchise-record 14 catches in Week 2, tied for the most by a rookie running back in league history. Barkley became the first Giants rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards (1,307) and his 15 scrimmage touchdowns were the most by a rookie in team history.

Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants won the award in 2014. The last Giant defensive player to win the award was Lawrence Taylor in 1981. The award has been given annually since 1967.

Beckham was the presenter on Saturday who announced Barkley’s award.

“It’s crazy to win this award,” Barkley said at a brief news conference after receiving the trophy. “Definitely an honor. You dream about stuff like this when you’re a little kid. To actually accomplish this is amazing.”

On stage, Barkley said, “It’s an honor to win this award. First and foremost, I want to say thank you to God. I’ve been blessed by Him. I want to say thank you to the fans, especially my parents. I want to say thank you to my teammates and coaches, and the Giants organization as a whole. Any kid who looks up to me, or any athlete, you can do anything in the world. As long as you put your mind to it and continue to work, anything is possible.”

Barkley spent part of the week in Atlanta soaking up the Super Bowl hype.

“It gets you motivated,” he said. “Watching the playoffs, you see teams that you played against or you see teams that are having a lot of success. You can envision yourself being there. That is the goal. You work hard in the offseason and you push yourself and your teammates to get to this point. Obviously, it is a long road and it is not going to be easy. We still have a lot of figuring out to do, but that is what it takes. Everyone wants to be in this moment and at this game.”

Congratulations to Barkley!