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New York Giants unlikely to trade Saquon Barkley before the draft

New York Giants
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen has been busy this week trying to create cap space. So far he’s cut tight end Kyle Rudolph and running back Devontae Booker.

In addition, Schoen asked for Sterling Shepard to take a significant pay cut instead of being released. Now it’s widely speculated that the Giants will look to trade Saquon Barkley before next month’s draft.

Barkley had a sensational rookie season in 2018 when he had 2,028 all-purpose yards and scored 15 touchdowns. But since then, his career has been marred by injuries, and poor offensive line play.

In the last three seasons, Barkley has a combined 2,391 all-purpose yards with 12 touchdowns, while appearing in just 28 games.

Barkley is entering the fifth and final year of his contract and is set to earn $7.2 million this season. New York is currently estimated to be $5.5 million over the cap and it would behoove them to trade the former second overall pick since it’s highly unlikely they offer him a new contract after the season.

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Trading Saquon Barkley doesn’t make sense for New York Giants

NFL: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The problem for Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll is that the rest of the NFL is aware of his current standing with the Giants. No team will be willing to trade significant draft capital for a player in the final year of his contract with a price tag of $7.2 million.

It’s been rumored that if the Giants were to trade Barkley, they would only get a fourth or fifth-round pick in return. This is not what a team would want in return for someone who when healthy is one of the more versatile backs in the NFL.

But unfortunately, he’s seldom been healthy.

With New York in a conundrum on what to do with their 25-year-old running back, Schoen and Daboll will have to make the most difficult decision in their early tenure with Big Blue.

Do they sell low and cut their losses and acquire a mid or late-round pick, and watch Barkley possibly turn into a top-five running back with a contending team. Or do they keep him and hope that he can stay healthy behind a revamped offensive line that the Giants will build through the draft and free agency.

As it stands right now it seems doubtful that the Giants will trade Barkley prior to the draft. It would appear if the Giants are going to move on from Barkley, it will be early on in the upcoming season if a team were to lose their running back for the season.

When the Giants drafted Barkley just four years ago, the hope was he could be the best running back in the franchise’s history. Now they’re looking for the right offer to unload him. We’ll see what happens.

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