The New York Giants had an unexpectedly successful season, going 9-7 after starting 7-2 and making the playoffs for the first time in six years where they upset the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round.
But they will have some difficult decisions to make this offseason, starting with deciding what to do with free agent star running back Saquon Barkley.
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith believes the Giants should pay him top dollar, even if it doesn’t mean giving him a contract that lasts more than a few years.
.@stephenasmith believes the Giants should give Saquon Barkley "Christian McCaffrey money."
Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/q4bL3GUcpR
— First Take (@FirstTake) January 25, 2023
Smith’s reasoning seems sound, especially when one considers that New York’s offense is, as Smith put it, “Saquon Barkley and a bag of chips.”
The team was not exactly prolific offensively, but it managed to win by making things happen defensively and being greater than the sum of its parts.
Barkley isn’t just the Giants’ best offensive weapon, he is their only real offensive weapon.
He put up 1,312 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, a feat that is even more impressive when one considers that he had been hampered by injuries during the previous two seasons.
Smith used the four-year, $64 million contract of Christian McCaffrey, another standout running back, as a reference point.
Like Barkley, McCaffrey has dealt with injuries over the past couple of years, but he managed to stay healthy this season while putting up impressive numbers.
After the Carolina Panthers traded him to the San Francisco 49ers in October, he transformed the Niners’ middling offense with his dual-threat skills.
If the Giants don’t pay Barkley enough, he could simply bolt and join another team, and if that happens, there will be a legion of very unhappy fans throughout the Tri-State Area.