Saquon Barkley wants to stay with New York Giants beyond 2022 season

Matt Johnson
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley started his NFL career with a bang, winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and rushing for 2,310 yards in his first two seasons. But things have gone downhill for Barkley and the Giants ever since.

Drafted No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley has never experienced the NFL playoffs and the Giants’ best record since drafting him came in 2020 (6-10). With the team in disarray and the front office headed for major changes, many have wondered how much longer Barkley will play in Giants’ blue.

But the star running back made it clear to reporters that while he is eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, he wants to finish his career with New York.

“I think I’ve made it clear that this is the place that drafted me, I’d love to be here forever”

Saquon Barkley on his desire to remain with New York Giants, via SNYGIants
  • Saquon Barkley stats (2021): 429 rushing yards, 37 receptions, 248 receiving yards and four total touchdowns

It doesn’t come as a total surprise. Barkley was born in New York and while he grew up a New York Jets fan, idolizing Curtis Martin, playing near his hometown is incredibly meaningful for the 24-year-old. Injuries have been the biggest problem for him in the past two seasons, but he still shows flashes of rare playmaking ability.

Of course, the decision might not be Barkley’s to make. With a new general manager taking over and the Giants viewed as a potential rebuild team, he could be a trade chip used to acquire future draft picks. It might also be in bis best interests to join a new team with a better supporting cast.

For now, Barkley is willing to give the Giants a chance. With two first-round picks and plenty of cap space, there are ways for a new regime to improve the offensive line and to upgrade at quarterback. If that happens, it’s possible Barkley returns to the elite talent fans witnessed in his first two seasons.