Pilgrims Point: Giant Changes Coming

by Jeff Pilgrim @PilgrimsPoint

Hear me out.

Saquon Barkley is an unbelievable talent.  He is exactly who you want on your team.  He’s a class act.  I’d make him the captain of my own team if I had one.  Truly, world-class talent and a great person.

The Giants need to trade him and here’s why:

After suffering the 6th loss in 7 games, the Giants have proven they are not close to competing for a championship.  They are not even close to a .500 team.  They are currently 1-6 with Tom Brady on deck.  1-7 is more than likely the reality by next weekend.  The Giants are arguably the worst team in a historically bad division.  In the last 3 games, the Giants have lost to Dallas (2-4), beat Washington (1-5) by a point, and lost to Philly (2-4-1).  In the eyes of the NFL and fans everywhere, that’s the bottom of the barrel.  The Giants are struggling to compete with the worst the NFL has to offer.

Don’t be upset.  Be real for a moment.

Saquon Barkley was officially a wasted pick.  That’s right.  The Giants failed him and the fan base. He had a stellar rookie campaign and the promise of somebody who would one day wear a gold jacket.  Years 2 and 3 fell victim to injuries and horrendous offensive line play.  The Giants are not built for him.  It was an easy draft choice because he’s one of the most talented Running Backs we’ve ever seen.  It doesn’t mean it was the smartest pick.  If the offensive line was a glaring weakness when you drafted him, where exactly was he going to run the ball?

When Dallas selected Ezekiel Elliot, they had the best offensive line in football.  They were built for him.  The year before drafting Zeke, the Dallas offensive line made Demarco Murray the league’s leading rusher.  Zeke was the right pick at the right time.  It made sense.  They had a window for a championship run so they invested in an elite talent at RB on a rookie contract.

The Giants have not sniffed the playoffs since 2016 and are stuck in a never-ending rebuild.  

Saquon Barkley represents the most valuable asset the Giants have.  He’ll be entering his 4th year in 2021.  He’s currently recovering from a significant injury and we’re unsure if he will return to form.  His first 3 years, his prime, the benefit of the rookie contract, have all been completely wasted.  The best chance to get a great return for him is right now while he still has great promise and another year (or two) on his rookie deal.  The right buyer would leverage their future draft picks to add Saquon for a championship run.  They could overtake his contract and pick up the 5th year option for a 2-year shot at the Lombardi.

It makes absolutely no sense for the Giants to pay Saquon 15+ Million/Year to be on a losing team. As many teams have proven, you don’t need a generational talent at RB to win a championship.  When did the Patriots ever have one?  Did Gurley not just get traded to a new team?  Have the Saints gotten to a Super Bowl with Kamara?  The Jets couldn’t ditch Leveon Bell and his contract fast enough.  The Panthers paid CMC a ton of money.  Once they lost him to injury this season, they’ve gone 3-1 and are averaging more than 24 points/game. 

 YOU DON’T NEED AN ELITE RUNNING BACK TO SUCCEED. 

The game is changing.  It’s becoming more and more pass-heavy and the rules have been tilted to protect QBs and receivers.  With so many running backs to choose from in every draft, why would you pay such a high number for the shiny toy?  The Chiefs held the final pick of the first round in the 2020 draft and they had their choice from the entire nation’s pool of RBs.  It’s a position that has lost value and there’s a good reason.  Running backs are replaceable.  The extra 30 yards/game that a more talented RB can possibly get you is not worth it.

 The Giants need serious improvements at every level and every position. Unfortunately, while Gettleman is still in charge, he won’t make this move because Barkley was his investment.  DG knows his time is coming to an end and he won’t be here for the long haul. 

The chance to get a return on your most valuable asset is right now.  
A great system will create a great running back, not the other way around. 

And that’s the point.
 

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