If the 1-5 New York Giants want to be sellers between now and the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline, the biggest chip they could potentially play would be to make star running back Saquon Barkley available.
Barkley said on Thursday that the idea he could on a team other than the Giants after the deadline has “never crossed my mind.”
“Obviously, I’ve been public and vocal about how I feel about this organization and where I want to be,” Barkley said. “But like I said, knowing the business and seeing that side of it, there are a lot of things that I can’t control. Sitting here, everyone knows how I feel. Everyone knows I don’t want to get traded. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would want to get traded anywhere. It’s not an easy thing to do, you’ve got to move, I have a family. I would love to be here but like I said, it’s not in my control. My focus is to be the leader I can be for this team to try to get this thing on the right track.”
The 26-year-old Barkley is in his sixth season with the Giants. He is playing this season on an amended franchise tag after failing to reach a long-term contract agreement with the team. The Giants have the option of tagging Barkley again next season should they not be able to reach a contract agreement.
Because of his lengthy injury history Barkley would not bring the Giants the type of return running back Christian McCaffrey brought the Carolina Panthers a year ago. The San Francisco 49ers dealt second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024 for McCaffrey.
Still, no other player on the Giants’ roster — except perhaps Dexter Lawrence, who is not being dealt — would bring a better trade return.
Barkley said no one has had any trade discussions with him.
“It’s not really blocking out; I can’t control that. It’s not like I’m able to make any decisions or have any say in that,” Barkley said. “The only thing that I have is the way I show up to work and the way I go out there and compete. That’s the things that I can control.”
In a recent ‘SB Nation Reacts’ poll, more than three-quarters of voters said they were OK with the team moving on from Barkley.
Barkley will probably stay with the Giants. This, though, is unlikely to be the last time we discuss Barkley and his future with the team before the trade deadline.