The 2-6 New York Giants sent star defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks ahead of Tuesdays trade deadline but held onto other starters set to be out of contract after the season such as star running back Saquon Barkley.
It sounds like Giants general manager Joe Schoen wasnt permitted to completely punt on the rest of the season even if doing so wouldve been best for the organizations future.
“Trading Williams was one thing,” Jordan Raanan of ESPN explained for a piece published Thursday. “Trading star running back Saquon Barkley would have been another, even if hes also set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Hes the face of the franchise and moving him at the deadline would have been the equivalent of Schoen waving a white flag. That would have been a tough sell to owner John Mara, who considers the product he puts out there for the paying consumer.”
Giants head coach Brian Daboll told reporters Wednesday that Schoen “wasn’t actively shopping anyone” before the executive received an offer for Williams from Seattle that the Giants couldnt refuse. In short, the Giants ate salary to essentially “buy” a 2024 second-round draft pick and a 2025 fifth-round selection in exchange for Williams.
Meanwhile, one unnamed general manager directly asked NFL insider Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post why Barkley stayed with the Giants past the deadline.
“That’s over. He won’t be back there next year,” the general manager said about Barkley. That GM added: “Too many teams don’t prepare early enough for the deadline. They don’t understand how to sell. They wait too long to restructure, they don’t seem to have a plan, the owners aren’t clued in enough, and they don’t have their [stuff] in order. We saw a lot of that this week.”
Barkley is in the final months of a one-year contract he signed this past summer after he and the Giants failed to agree to a long-term deal while his rights were retained via the franchise tag. The deal he inked doesnt prevent Schoen from tagging the 26-year-old a second time this coming offseason, and its widely believed Barkley will have to accept a discount if he wants to remain with the club that drafted him back in 2018.
Barkley and company will now hope to right the ship beginning with this Sundays game at a 3-5 Las Vegas Raiders side that blew things up earlier this week. As of Thursday afternoon, OddsChecker listed the Giants as 1.5-point underdogs against the Raiders.