2022 New York Giants training camp roster preview: RB Saquon Barkley
In 2018, running back Saquon Barkley set the world on fire, proving he was a dynamic player and worthy of being the second pick in the draft.
But after a stellar rookie performance in which he amassed more than 2,000 all-purpose yards (2,028) and earned AP “2018 A Offensive Rookie of the Year” honors, Sports News, and Pro Football Writers of America, Barkley had a tough time that had people wondering if the Giants blundered by passing over an offensive lineman or dropping No. 2 overall in this draft.
In his second campaign, Barkley missed three games due to a sprained ankle suffered in the third week of the season, with the injury clearly affecting him even after his return.
As he still managed to finish his second 1,000-yard rushing season – barely at that – grumbles that Barkley was an “all or nothing” back type began to surface.
The following season Barkley’s football world came to a halt when five quarters into the new campaign he suffered a devastating torn ACL on the grass at Soldier Field, an injury that required reconstructive surgery.
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Not one to give up on his dreams, and perhaps inspired by how legendary running back Adrian Peterson came back better than ever from a similar set of circumstances, Barkley has worked hard to get back on the pitch. Sure enough, he hasn’t missed a beat despite some speculation that the Giants may be keeping him out of games until he’s fully out of a year with the injury.
Barkley would return, but lo and behold, the injury bug struck again, this time a freak event, when he suffered a bizarre sprained ankle that cost him four more games.
Still determined to get back on track, Barkley kept going, rehabilitating the ankle, trying to stay patient and looking forward to better things to come.
With this latest offseason being the first for him since 2019 in which he hasn’t had to mix rehab work with his training, Barkley, who will be two years away from the ACL injury last year, l made it look like although he doesn’t fully trust that knee at times, he aims to thrive in his contract season.
what he brings
Barkley played 44 games for the Giants, but only exceeded 100 rushing yards in 12 of them. Part of his issues, other than injuries, has been his blocking up front, which has been inconsistent.
Part of it has been the stubbornness of previous coaching teams insisting he rush in and try to push the pile – something his size would seem to indicate he’s capable of but hasn’t. really shown since he turned professional.
Where Barkley has been at his best as a runner, he bounces things around on the outside. In his 2018 rookie season, he recorded his highest yards-per-attempt average (YPA) while working on the outside, using his reduction ability to find the proverbial escape hatch.
This has led some to wonder if Barkley, who had a reputation for being a “home run” in college, passed it on to the pros. An NFL running back must be able to take dirty yards and understand that non-rushing attempts will necessarily yield five or more yards.
At times Barkley could have a crease in front of him but failed to take advantage of it, instead looking to bounce on the outside to be stopped dead in his tracks.
Barkley is currently in the option year of his rookie contract and will earn a fully guaranteed salary of $7.217 million. This figure represents 100% of the money spent – there are no pro-rated signing bonuses or built-in frills.
Barkley’s 2022 earnings are currently the sixth-highest cap figure at his position and the seventh-highest cap figure for the Giants.
Barring an injury, Barkley will be on the roster this year because trading him at this point wouldn’t benefit anyone, not when the offense needs all the playmakers they can get.
However, the big question is how much of the workload will Barkley receive? When he was with the Bills, head coach Brian Daboll was known more for his passing than his rushing, so to expect Barkley to get at least 200 touches in the coming season is maybe expecting a little too much.
Instead, look for Barkley to get more involved in the passing game, one of his underutilized strengths. Barkley had a career-high 91 receptions as a rookie, but he hasn’t come close to that total since injuries.
But early signs from OTAs indicate that involving Barkley more in the passing game could well be in the cards, especially as he continues to make the linebackers and defensive backs responsible for covering him continue to appear. foolish.