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Hot Take Tuesday: Trade Saquon Barkley

November 26, 2019 06:00 am Updated: November 26, 2019 06:26 am

Since the New York Football Giants drafted Saquon Barkley in 2018, fans and analysts alike have been scratching their heads.  Especially when they go out the following year and draft a quarterback, a year after being slammed for taking Barkley ahead of Sam Darnold going to the Jets. 

Generational athletes like Barkley are better served in an environment where the chemistry and team identity is already clear and established by the coaches and players.  For three or four years, I have watched a Giants team, on numerous occasions, stay in a game competitively for just about it’s duration, and then I don’t know what happens. 

Whether it’s a lack of leadership on defense, poor play calling, or just sudden game fatigue, you can always count on them to give the lead up in the last 2 or 3 minutes of the fourth quarter.  And these scenarios only present themselves in games that the Giants are actually in a close game, not in ones where they’re being blown out and outclassed. 

Be that as it may, it’s frustrating to see a team that everyone attributes their past successes on their hall of fame defenses, reduced to such abysmal effort on the defensive side of the ball.  This is why I am lobbying for them to trade Saquon Barkley and get back as many draft picks as humanly possible. 

At this point they believe that they have their franchise quarterback so they need to give him time, and take advantage of the teams picking in front of them in the draft, that are looking at taking quarterbacks early. 

I don’t believe they’re going to be so far back, a draft selection or two at the most, that dangling a, healthy in 2020, Saquon Barkley wouldn’t entice one of those other teams like Cincinnati, Miami, Washington would be tough since they just drafted Derrius Guice, but I feel like Bruce Allen would be dumb enough to at least listen.  

The fact that the New York Giants drafted a quarterback that was ranked sixth at that position, with the sixth overall pick last April, shows that they see great opportunity in that man, Daniel Jones.  However, a team that is rebuilding at the single most important position in sports, is simultaneously wasting the career of a potentially Hall of Fame-bound running back.  

By trading Odell Beckham Jr. the Giants made it extremely clear that they wanted to have Barkley at the forefront of their offense and be the focal point every drive after his phenomenal rookie season. 

That’s all well and good, but not when you’re also trying to groom a young quarterback who, mostly everyone, knew would be starting over Eli Manning well before the season was over.  Not to mention an overrated coach, who continually settles for field goals in the red zone, and takes zero ownership of miscues on the sideline.  Players do have to execute, but they cannot be held accountable for horrendous game management.   

Let’s move to what the Giants can do going forward.  Their number one priority on defense has to be finding an edge pass rusher.  If I could have everything I want and more, I’d wish for them to finesse a trade to move up in the 2020 NFL Draft, and draft Chase Young out of Ohio State.  He’s the most tenacious pass rusher I have seen in some time, and the G-Men need someone like that, to give the second level of their defense, time and leverage to defend the pass.  

The, at best, mediocre players that Big Blue has put together on defense shows how crucial it is for them to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks at the line of scrimmage.  The fact that the front office thought getting Jabril Peppers in the Odell trade was some great accomplishment, and that signing that fossil Antoine Bethea to complement him was going to be enough to stop opponents, shows that despite telling the media you’re trying to have a competitive season, there’s no way you are going to do that with the players the Giants put on the field.   

If I could, I would go back and draft Darnold for the Giants in 2018, and here’s how I would have structured the 1st round of picks in 2019 that they were afforded (through the regular process, AND the Odell trade)… 

2019 Giants 1st round Re-Draft 

1st Round - #6 : Josh Allen OLB, Kentucky  

1st Round - #17 : Montez Sweat DE, Mississippi State 

1st Round - #30 : D.K. Metcalf WR, Ole Miss  

If the draft in 2019 had gone this way, I believe we would be having this discussion in a completely different context.  If the Giants had drafted Sam Darnold, and he still proved to be just what he is now, a young, talented, but learning quarterback, and they could have built chemistry with him and a young and athletic receiver with great hands and high potential like D.K. Metcalf, and drafted those stud pass rushers early in Allen, and Sweat, the Giants could very well be in a position of being one or two pieces away from being a playoff contender. 

As it stands now however, they have absolutely no business lying to the fanbase and trying to sell a product they cannot deliver.  And if this amount of time wasn’t proof enough for general manager Dave Gettleman that he cannot win while rebuilding, like he claimed the Giants could do, then it’s time for him to go as well.