(Image credit Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
With the NFL Offseason here and NFL Free Agency beginning on March 16th, there is a lot of speculation regarding teams being traded. One player that has been mentioned being traded is New York Giants Running Back Saquon Barkley. I can see why as the Giants are currently 5 million dollars under the salary cap. Trading Saquon Barkley would clear around 7.2 million dollars according to Spotrac. Saquon Barkley was a great player in his first two seasons as he rushed for 1,000 yards for each season. But a big issue with Saquon is that he is not durable. He was beaten up during the 2019 season with a high ankle sprain missing 3 games. He missed a majority of the 2020 season due to tearing his ACL, and in the 2021 season, he missed 4 games due to an ankle injury. The Giants may want to get some value for him now as he is on a decline and his contract expires next season. It would not be a surprise if he was not signed to another contract next season but I wondered who would be the Top 5 Trade Destinations for Saquon Barkley if he was to be traded.
Honorable Mention - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It makes sense as the Buccaneers only have Ke'Shawn Vaughn signed for the team at RB next season. They do have 21.3 million dollars in salary cap So they can afford him. However, the Buccaneers have a lot of free agents they would like to re-sign like Chris Godwin, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jordan Whitehead, Rob Gronkowski, OJ Howard, etc. So I doubt the Buccaneers in the end would be able to afford him. Especially if the Buccaneers want to blow it up and rebuild again.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs could use an upgrade at running back. Yes, the team invested a 1st round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire but he also has durability issues as well. Darrel Williams stinks and the Chiefs could use another piece for that offense. The Chiefs have the cap space to do it as they have 11.4 million in salary cap right now. The Chiefs also need a running back that can help with the passing game as well.
4. Seattle Seahawks
It makes sense as Chris Carson suffered a neck injury last season. Neck injuries are very scary to deal with and Carson may never be the same player. Rashaad Penny is a free agent this offseason and despite the strong end of the season keep in mind he faced awful defenses in Detroit, Chicago, Houston, and Arizona (That rested their defensive players). Penny is also injury prone and I would not resign him. So that leaves a hole at running back. Barkley could fill that hole and what helios is that they have 35 million dollars in salary cap so they can absolutely afford him.
3. Miami Dolphins
Mike McDaniels is big on the running game for whatever offense he is a part of. Look at how it helped during his time in San Francisco. The Dolphins are going to need a running back as Myles Gaskin is the only one that has a contract for next season. Miami has plenty of draft picks and they have around 61.2 million dollars in cap space for next season. I would not be shocked if news came of the Dolphins acquiring RB Saquon Barkley. But who knows what Miami will do as they already made a tremendous mistake firing a great coach in Brian Flores.
2. Houston Texans
The Texans are a complete dumpster fire that literally needs to improve on Every position. Who knows what will happen with the whole Deshaun Watson situation but Daivs Mills has promise. If I was the Texans I would absolutely surround him with weapons, especially at running back. The Texans have 17.7 million dollars in cap space and can acquire Saquon. The question is if they would do it or not as I have no idea what the Texans plan is. But I again got to ask, Why is Jack Easterby still a part of the Texans organization again?
1. Buffalo Bills
This makes a lot of sense. The Bills don’t have a ton of needs but they need one more piece on offense at running back. Especially as Matt Brieda is a free agent, Zack Moss was a healthy scratch in games plus wasn’t impressive and Devin Singletary has durability issues. Singletary was fine the 2nd half of the season but was not consistent the 1st half of the season. Now the Bills are currently 3 million under the salary cap but I have a feeling the team may part ways with WR Cole Beasley and restructure others contracts to make it work. This move makes a lot of sense for the Bills.
Now the question is: Do I believe the Giants will trade Saquon Barkley?
This was a tough one but unless the Giants get an offer that blows them away I don’t see them moving on from Saquon. Especially as now, the Giants don’t have another running back on the roster that could replace Saquon. Plus there is too much risk for a team acquiring Saquon and I think the Giants asking price would be too high.
What do I believe Saquon’s trade value is?
Now there is way too much risk surrounding Saquon Barkley right now. Unless the Giants would offer an Osweiler Effect type of deal I would not go near Saquon. But I would listen to acquiring his services for a 5th round draft pick as I believe that is his trade value now. I doubt that is the value that the Giants would trade him. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Saquon during the offseason.