Giants Linked to Big-Name RBs as Possible Saquon Barkley Replacements

If the New York Giants do not re-sign Saquon Barkley, they could be interested in a couple of running backs who can fill his void.

Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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With the New York Giants seemingly moving on from star running back Saquon Barkley, the team will be in the market for a new starting running back this offseason. 

The Giants could address the running back spot in next month’s NFL draft or in free agency, which has a ton of quality starting running backs. It won’t be easy for New York to replace the playmaking ability of Barkley, who racked up 1,650 and 1,242 yards from scrimmage over the past two years.

However, the Giants have their eyes on two veteran running backs that could step in and bring some excitement to New York’s offense in 2024.

Giants Rumors: New York Keeping Its Eyes on Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday (subscription required) that the Giants are “still in the mix” to potentially re-sign Barkley but are looking at Tony Pollard and Austin Ekeler. 

It’s been reported that the 26-year-old Pollard is willing to take less money to return to Dallas. However, the Cowboys could be tempted by the idea of signing Barkley or Derrick Henry. 

Pollard had a solid 2023 season as a first-time feature back in Dallas, producing 1,005 yards and six touchdowns on 252 carries. It was the second consecutive year Pollard ran for at least 1,000 yards. 

The former University of Memphis running back also posted 55 receptions (67 targets) for 311 yards. Spotrac projects Pollard’s calculated market value as a two-year, $13 million deal with an average annual salary of $6.5 million. 

As for Ekeler, the 28-year-old running back took a step on the ground last season with the Los Angeles Chargers (628 yards and five touchdowns on 179 carries). 

However, Ekeler still found a way to be effective in the passing game, which could be intriguing to the Giants. The 5-foot-10 running back produced 51 receptions (74 targets) for 436 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers could look to re-sign Ekeler in free agency. But LA has bigger things to figure out, as they are $21 million over the cap. Spotrac projects the veteran running back’s calculated market value as a three-year, $22.3 million deal with an average annual salary of $7.4 million.

Nonetheless, whatever the Giants decide to do at running back, it must be impactful, as their offense struggled mightily in 2023.

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