Finally Giants Saquon Barkley potential replacements Tony Pollard land in Giants camp for medicals

Insider names potential replacements for Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Report: Tony Pollard to Test Free Agency, Open To Return?


The New York Giants haven’t completely shut the door on a reunion with star running back Saquon Barkley, but they have started preparing for a future without him.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that while New York is “still in the mix” to re-sign Barkley, the team has started exploring alternative options, with Austin Ekeler and Tony Pollard named as possible replacements.

Barkley, who sits fourth on New York’s all-time rushing list with 5,211 yards, is set to be an unrestricted free agent after not being given the franchise tag for the second consecutive offseason. The former No. 2 overall pick played on an adjusted franchise tag in 2023 after failing to secure a long-term extension and should be in line for a massive payday on the open market.
According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, league sources believe Barkley has “the best chance” among the impending free-agent running backs to earn a contract with a $10M annual salary. However, it’s worth noting that the two-time Pro Bowler is seeking higher compensation.

Given Barkley’s insistence on maintaining a high asking price, it wouldn’t be surprising if he signed elsewhere this offseason. For the Giants, showing interest in Ekeler and Pollard could be more of a matter of due diligence than their preferred plan to address the running back position, though at the right price, anything can happen.

Despite being one of the top pass-catching backs in the NFL over the past few seasons, Ekeler’s decline in 2023 suggests he could be a risky investment in free agency. Not only did he rack up his fewest yards from scrimmage (1,064) and touchdowns (six) since 2020, but he averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry.

Pollard, on the other hand, could prove to be one of the top bargain acquisitions of the upcoming free-agency period. While he didn’t make the impact many expected of him in his first season as Dallas’ lead back, Pollard still rushed for 1,005 yards.

Giants won't use franchise tag on Saquon Barkley; RB headed to free agency


Considering Pollard was likely still hampered by the broken fibula and high-ankle sprain he suffered in the Cowboys’ 2022 divisional-round loss to San Francisco for much of 2023, he could post a more productive season in 2024.

Even so, since New York didn’t want to pay a premium for an aging Barkley, it’s possible that the team ultimately decides not to pursue a signing of Pollard’s or Ekeler’s magnitude.

As part of an article predicting Barkley’s next contract price, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan mentioned that the Giants could be interested in more affordable free-agent running backs. Raanan listed Zack Moss, Devin Singletary and Alexander Mattison as possible names to watch. Singletary and Moss might be the most realistic targets among these budget options since they played for Giants HC Brian Daboll when he was Buffalo’s offensive coordinator.

Although there’s no clear choice regarding how the Giants should replace Barkley, any debate on the matter is irrelevant until they revamp an offensive line that allowed the second-most sacks in NFL history last season.

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