3 Most Likely Saquon Barkley Replacements if the Giants Let Him Walk in Free Agency

If the Giants don't give Saquon Barkley an extension in free agency, here are three running back replacements they should look out for.

Jan 7, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)
Jan 7, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Giants have an interesting decision to make regarding the future of star running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after spending this season playing on the franchise tag. The star running back is due for a hefty payday this offseason as he’s been the Giants’ best offensive player over the last few years.

However, it’s not clear if New York will pay the price of admission for the versatile running back. Spotrac.com projects Barkley’s market value at a three-year, $19.9 million deal with an average annual salary of $6.6 million.

If that’s the case, the Giants shouldn’t have any problems re-signing Barkley, who makes New York’s offense go. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if Barkley’s agents push for a three-year, $42 million deal that Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor received earlier this season.

Nonetheless, if the Giants decide to spend money elsewhere and not on Barkley, they’ll have to find his replacement in free agency or the 2024 NFL Draft. Below, we’ll look at a few players who should be on the Giants’ radar in the offseason.

1. Devin Singletary

Singletary had a fantastic 2023 season with the Houston Texans and looked like the running back we saw coming out of Florida Atlantic University.

The veteran running back supplanted second-year running back Dameon Pierce as the starter in Houston and performed well. Singletary had 898 yards on 216 carries (both career highs) and four touchdowns. He also recorded 30 receptions (38 targets) for 193 yards.

The 26-year-old Singletary should receive a pay increase this offseason after signing outplaying his one-year, $2.75 million deal. Spotrac projects the former FAU standout’s market value as a three-year, $13.1 million deal.

The Texans would happily re-sign him to that projected deal, along with a few other teams, such as the Giants. If New York plans to replace Barkley in free agency, they need a starting caliber running back who can be effective on the ground and in the passing game.

Singletary checks both of those boxes and has a connection with Brian Daboll, who was the offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills (2018-’21). One of Singletary’s best seasons under Daboll came in 2021 when he had 870 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He also had 40 receptions (50 targets) for 228 yards and a touchdown.

Singletary is a great replacement on paper, but the Giants need to be sure that the offensive line is healthy and ready to play.