Saquon Barkley

Latest On Giants, Kadarius Toney

Some brake-pumping appears necessary regarding a Kadarius Toney trade. The Giants’ new regime has discussed the 2021 first-round pick with teams, but SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano tweets the team is merely listening to offers rather than shopping the young wide receiver.

The Giants are open to dealing Toney, who flashed when available as a rookie. But last year’s No. 20 overall pick missed extensive game and practice time and did not impress the team with his work habits. New York’s Joe SchoenBrian Daboll regime still views the Florida alum as a key piece on offense, with Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com indicating the Giants want “significant” compensation for Toney (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Teams Split On Toney’s Value]

Nothing is imminent here, with Albert Breer of SI.com noting the new Big Blue power brokers do not seem motivated to unload Toney. Instead, they want to see how an offense featuring he and Saquon Barkley looks. This was a rare sight last season, which featured both Barkley and Toney suffering injuries. The duo only played four games together in 2021.

While teams may be calling on the receiver, nothing has “come close to materializing in terms of a trade,” per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via NFL.com). While Vacchiano’s report indicates that the Giants are the ones who are receiving the calls, Garafolo says it’s “unclear” if the Giants initiated any trade talks. Ultimately, the reporter says it “doesn’t seem very likely” that Toney is moved any time soon.

Toney attended the start of the Giants’ offseason program Monday, and a report surfaced earlier today indicating the team is shopping Darius Slayton, who is going into a contract year. The former fifth-round pick has displayed a larger body of work, but Toney — should he manage to stay on the field — looks to have more upside. While it is noteworthy the shifty ex-Gator even landed in trade rumors, Daboll likely wants to see how the second-year receiver looks in his offense before a move transpires.

Giants Discussing Saquon Barkley, James Bradberry Trades

Both Saquon Barkley and James Bradberry have surfaced as trade candidates, though it is unclear how seriously the Giants are with those respective courses of action. It appears the team is fairly intent on moving at least one.

In pursing their goal of clearing $40MM-plus in cap space, the Giants have had discussions with multiple teams about trading Barkley and/or Bradberry, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reports. However, the duo is not generating too much interest. A Day 3 choice may be the max value the Giants could net for either player, Vacchiano notes. That is unlikely to move the needle for the Giants on Barkley.

Bradberry was reported to have more value than Barkley, the latter’s reputation and dominant rookie season notwithstanding. But their current values may put the new Giants regime to key decisions. They are likely to move on from at least one of the duo, Vacchiano adds, due to cap constraints.

It would be rather strange to see Barkley unloaded, given his reduced trade value after three injury-plagued years. The former No. 2 overall pick carries just a $7.2MM cap number — down from $10MM in 2021 — on his fifth-year option. Both Barkley and Bradberry’s deals expire after the 2022 season. Leaguewide concern exists on Barkley’s health, per Vacchiano. A high ankle sprain, ACL and MCL tears and another ankle issue have felled Barkley over the past three years. The would-be superstar faces perhaps a make-or-break season in 2022.

A Bradberry swap would give the Giants $12.1MM in cap space. The ex-Panther cornerback signed a three-year, $45MM deal in 2020. Dropping Bradberry would also leave the Giants shorthanded at corner. No. 1 corners are certainly more difficult to replace than running backs.

It will be interesting to see where the Giants go here. They made multiple cuts but also reached pay-cut agreements to retain Blake Martinez and Sterling Shepard. As of Monday evening, Big Blue remains over the 2022 cap.

Giants Notes: Jones, Barkley, Engram

Giants GM Joe Schoen recently told reporters that no decision has been made with respect to QB Daniel Jones‘ fifth-year option for 2023, which must be exercised or declined by May 2. “We haven’t been around him other than a couple weeks,” Schoen said (via Mike Florio of PFT). “Again, we’re going to take our time with the process. We’re going to be around Daniel. We’re going to get the chance to see him throw and work with the guys that we have. … We’re going to be patient with that decision.”

New York is interested in signing free agent passer Mitchell Trubisky and having him compete with Jones for the starting job in 2022. Given that, and given Jones’ struggles over his first three professional seasons, it would be surprising if Schoen were to pick up Jones’ option, which is worth a fully-guaranteed $21.3MM.

Now for more from Big Blue:

  • When asked about the possibility of trading RB Saquon Barkley, Schoen did not rule it out. However, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes, Schoen would have to be floored to make a deal. Although the Giants are obviously in rebuild mode, they also want to field a competitive team and surround Jones or any other passer with enough talent to fairly evaluate their QB situation. Furthermore, Barkley’s “strong preference” is to stay with New York, and Dunleavy’s sources believe that if the Giants were to trade him now, they shouldn’t expect much more than a fourth-round pick in return.
  • Before Schoen was hired, it was reported that the Giants were unlikely to break the bank to retain tight end and pending FA Evan Engram. We have not heard anything to suggest otherwise now that Schoen is in charge of personnel, which means that Engram is poised to hit the open market. As Dunleavy tweets, some interested teams are looking to utilize Engram more as a slot receiver and are preparing proposals with that goal in mind.
  • Georgia DE Travon Walker was one of the biggest winners at the scouting combine, putting on a display that solidified his position as one of the top D-linemen in the class. The fact that he was asked to fill a variety of roles along the Bulldogs’ defensive front limited his sack production, but his athletic traits are hard to beat, and ESPN draftnik Jordan Reid believes Walker might now be a top-five choice (subscription required). Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com suggests that the Giants may consider Walker with their No. 5 or No. 7 overall selections (Twitter link).

Giants Open To Saquon Barkley Trade

The Giants’ new regime could be making some serious changes this offseason. When asked about the possibility of trading Saquon Barkley, GM Joe Schoen wouldn’t rule it out.

[RELATED: Giants Asking Shepard To Take Pay Cut]

I’m open to anything. … I’m not going to say yes to every deal, but I’m going to listen,” Schoen said (Twitter link via Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network).

Barkley was once untouchable. Now, after a string of injuries, the Giants are at least open to dealing him. After being selected No. 2 overall in 2018, Barkley was nothing short of stellar — his historic rookie campaign included 2,028 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns in a full 16-game slate. He had an equally impressive 5.4 yards per touch in 2019, but he missed three games thanks to a high ankle sprain.

Then, in 2020, he was limited to just two games before succumbing to a torn ACL. Barkley managed to play in 13 games this past year, but clearly wasn’t at 100%. He finished with just 593 yards off of 162 carries, good for just 3.7 yards per attempt.

The Giants have already exercised Barkley’s fifth-year option for 2022, but they may prefer to put those dollars elsewhere and target younger options in the draft. Meanwhile, they may be able to save money elsewhere by negotiating a new deal with wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Latest On Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Giants running back Saquon Barkley will miss today’s matchup with the Raiders, the fourth straight game he will be forced to sit out after sustaining an ankle sprain in New York’s Week 5 loss to the Cowboys. The day after that game, head coach Joe Judge indicated that Barkley had avoided a serious injury and was considered week-to-week, but the fact that he has yet to return to the field suggests that his recovery has not gone particularly smoothly.

Indeed, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com says he heard several weeks ago that Barkley’s ankle was not healing as quickly as hoped (Twitter link). On Friday, Judge declined to say whether his RB1 had suffered a setback, and Barkley himself has not spoken to the media in about a month. The Giants are on a bye next week, so Barkley’s next chance to return to the field will be in Week 11 against the Bucs.

After a stellar rookie campaign that helped to justify GM Dave Gettleman‘s decision to make Barkley the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 draft, things have not gone all that well for the Penn State product. An injury to his other ankle forced Barkley to miss three games in 2019, and though he still produced at a fairly high level that year, he admitted that the ailment nagged him for most of the season. Then, in 2020, ACL and MCL tears ended his season after just two games.

Despite all that, New York elected to exercise Barkley’s fifth-year option for 2022, so he will get one more chance to post a fully healthy year and to return to his 2018 form prior to becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency. In four-plus games in 2021, the 24-year-old has shown some flashes but has posted a mediocre 3.6 YPC average on 54 carries. He has caught 14 balls for 130 yards and has scored three total TDs.

In brighter news for Big Blue, WR Kenny Golladay is expected to play against the Raiders today. Golladay, the Giants’ top free agent acquisition this offseason, suffered a hyperextended knee in the same game that Barkley sustained his injury. As Raanan tweets, the knee has held up well in recent practices, and Golladay is set to return after a three-game absence.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

NFC East Notes: Giants, Gregory, Fitzpatrick

Jabrill Peppers‘ torn ACL will keep him sidelined for the rest of the 2021 campaign, and considering his expiring contract, there’s a chance his stint with the Giants has effectively come to an end. However, head coach Joe Judge kept the door open when speaking with reporters on Wednesday.

“Look, this guy is in a contract year, it’s something I’ve talked to him about directly,” Judge said (h/t to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). “He’s a guy that I value a lot in this program. I’d love to have this guy going forward, I’ve told him that directly. He’s been a very good leader for us. You can talk about him being local, that the Giants mean something to him. I think that’s very important. He’s a guy that loves football, he loves this organization, he loves this area. Those are things we talk about building as cornerstones and pillars of this program and he’s a very important part of our program.”

The safety started five of his six games this season, compiling 29 tackles and one sack. Considering Peppers’ contract status, his reduced playing time, and continued trade rumblings, there was a chance the veteran would be traded prior to his injury. The ACL injury certainly changed things, and Peppers could pursue a comeback with his current team.

More notes out of the NFC East…

  • With the Giants sitting at 2-5, it wouldn’t be a surprise if several Giants veterans end up hitting the trade block. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv explored which players could be on the move, with tight end Evan Engram, cornerback James Bradberry, guard Will Hernandez, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and offensive tackle Nate Solder earning spots on the list. Vacchiano even goes as far as to list running back Saquon Barkley as a potential trade candidate, but he can’t envision the Giants receiving a haul that would convince them to bail on the former second-overall pick.
  • Randy Gregory has dealt with his fair share of suspensions, but the former Cowboys second-round pick followed an impressive 2020 campaign with an even better start to the 2021 season. In five games (four starts), Gregory has collected four sacks. The 28-year-old will hit free agency following the 2021 season, but David Moore, Calvin Watkins, and Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News all believe that the defensive end will be back next season. Moore notes that the team wouldn’t have held on to Gregory for all these years if they didn’t plan on a long-term pact, while Watkins cautions that the franchise tag could prove to be a risky move considering Gregory’s limited track record.
  • There was once some hope that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be back by now, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport writes that Washington Football Team will have to wait a bit longer. The 38-year-old is still weeks away from returning, with Week 10 being the earliest possible return for the starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation back in September, forcing Taylor Heinicke into the lineup.

Giants’ Daniel Jones To Start In Week 6

FRIDAY: Jones cleared the protocol Friday. He is no longer on the Giants’ injury report and is set to make his return against the Rams this week.

The third-year quarterback will also have Sterling Shepard available. After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, Shepard is good to go for Sunday. The injuries Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay sustained against Dallas will shelve them against Los Angeles, however. The team has listed Kadarius Toney and Darius Slayton as questionable for Week 6. Toney managed three limited practices this week, making him a reasonable bet to play.

THURSDAY: Despite getting knocked out of last weekend’s loss to the Cowboys with a concussion, Daniel Jones could be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Rams. Coach Joe Judge told reporters that his starting QB is “on track with everything” as he looks to clear concussion protocol (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan).

Jones completed five of his 13 pass attempts before exiting Sunday’s loss. Following a helmet-to-helmet hit, Jones stumbled off the field before getting carted to the locker room. Jones is currently in concussion protocol, and he was ruled out of practice on Wednesday. However, he was seen participating in work outs on a side field.

That would seemingly open the door to Jones clearing concussion protocol and playing on Sunday. Even if the QB doesn’t see the field this week at practice, Judge indicated that his starter could still be in the lineup against Los Angeles (per Raanan).

The former first-round pick has had an unremarkable start to the 2021 campaign, completing 64.3-percent of his passes for 1,282 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception. He’s also added another 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. If the 24-year-old isn’t able to play this weekend, Mike Glennon would be under center for the Giants. The veteran made his first appearance of the season in Week 5, completing 16 of his 25 pass attempts for 196 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Injury Updates: Giants, Tunsil, Gronkowski

It sounds like Saquon Barkley avoided a serious injury. The Giants star running back is believed to have suffered a low-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

The injury will knock him out of Sunday’s contest against the Rams, but he’ll otherwise be considered week-to-week. Earlier today, Giants head coach Joe Judge seemed to confirm that Barkley avoided a serious injury.

“In terms of the X-rays that came back, (it was) better news than it could’ve been for us,” Judge said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). “[S]o it was a little bit of a sigh of relief with a couple of things just knowing the player and what he’s battled through.”

After being limited to only two games in 2020, Barkley had started each of New York’s first five games in 2021. The 24-year-old has collected 325 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 68 touches.

More injury notes from around the NFL:

  • One of Barkley’s teammates was also lucky. Giants wideout Kenny Golladay will miss Sunday’s game, but the free agent acquisition avoided a “major” injury, per Rapoport (on Twitter). There was a “major sigh of relief” following the diagnosis, which has since been confirmed as a hyperextended knee (via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Twitter). Golladay has disappointed to start his career in New York, hauling in only 17 receptions through five games.
  • Another Giants player wasn’t so lucky. Rookie Rodarius Williams tore his ACL against the Cowboys yesterday, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (via Twitter). The rookie sixth-round pick has seen time in all five games this season, collecting one tackle.
  • Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil suffered a torn UCL in his thumb during yesterday’s loss to the Patriots, reports Rapoport (via Twitter). The Pro Bowler will eventually need surgery, but the organization is hoping Tunsil can play through the injury and hold off surgery for the time being. The former first-round pick has missed at least one regular season game in each of his five full seasons.
  • Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski could end up playing on Thursday against the Eagles. Head coach Bruce Arians said Gronk is “very close” to returning to the field (per NFL.com). After collecting four touchdowns through his first three games of the season, the 32-year-old has missed the past two games while he recovered from a rib injury.

Giants’ Saquon Barkley Suffers Ankle Injury

Giants running back Saquon Barkley had to be carted off after suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter on Sunday. Barkley was later ruled out for the game, along with quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion protocol) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee). 

Barkley’s left foot bent the wrong way after a collision with Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis. An overhead shot of the injury (Twitter link via Will Brinson of CBS Sports) showed severe swelling. That likely indicates a lateral inversion sprain, according to Dr. David J. Chao (on Twitter). Additional testing will confirm what Barkley is dealing with, but it sounds like he’ll miss a few games at minimum.

Jones was the next star to go after clashing helmets with linebacker Jabrill Cox. Mike Glennon stepped in for Jones, and he may get the call again next week if Jones needs additional time to recover. Now, Golladay has also been ruled out for the game, leaving the Giants offense severely shorthanded. Beyond those three, they’re already without wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (also hamstring), plus left tackle Andrew Thomas (foot).

The Giants entered today’s game at 1-3, dead last in the NFC East.