The New York Giants are either really good about hiding their intentions with running back Saquon Barkley, or they genuinely don't plan on trading the former second-overall pick. Either that or NFL teams just aren't serious enough about adding Barkley leading up to the 2023 NFL trade deadline (October 31).
The trade deadline is just days away at this point, and Barkley's name has come up a little bit but not quite enough. Barkley is a true difference-maker at the running back position, and that includes playing on all three downs. With him looking healthy and playing in a contract year, the Giants should be looking to maximize value for him or extend him, right?
Barkley had 1,650 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns last season. He's averaging close to 90 yards from scrimmage per game again this season and the Giants are simply not having enough team success to justify holding onto Barkley and then letting him hit free agency after the 2023 season. That would be such a misuse of assets, and general manager Joe Schoen has to know it.
The Giants undoubtedly don't want to get rid of such an exciting player, but I don't really want to point any fingers at the Giants in this post for not doing enough to get someone to take Barkley off their hands. I want to point fingers at the majority of the other NFL teams who have a shot to acquire an impact player for the right price, and there's a recent example of how well this can work out for a team.
Look no further than the San Francisco 49ers and their trade to acquire Christian McCaffrey last season. The 49ers traded 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-round picks in 2023 to acquire McCaffrey, as well as a 2024 5th-round pick. They basically did what they had to do short of trading an actual first-round selection to get McCaffrey away from the Panthers, almost trading an entre draft class for one player.
But McCaffrey helped take the 49ers deep into last year's postseason (NFC title) and he appears to be en route to doing so yet again in 2023-24. I'm not going to sit here and say that Saquon Barkley makes the exact same type of impact on games as Christian McCaffrey does, but he is certainly capable of having a similar effect in the short-term, especially.
Given what Barkley has proven up to this point in his career, even with his injury history and contract situation, it's a little odd that teams -- especially those in need of help at the RB position -- aren't lining up to acquire this guy. It won't take a McCaffrey-like package of picks to acquire Barkley, but teams should be causing Joe Schoen to have to put his phone on silent because they're blowing it up with offers, even if they are low-ball offers.