The New York Giants have not so subtly hinted at the fact they are rebuilding this year under a new regime.
However, they've been clearer about the fact they don't plan to get rid of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones.
Former Big Blue star Tiki Barber thinks that's a mistake. On "Tiki and Tierney" yesterday, Barber advocated for trading Barkley and moving on from Jones.
His reasoning? If the Giants really are doing a hard reset, they should go all-in on doing so.
“The reason I think they should try to trade Saquon is because if you’re going to zero to get your cap in order, just do it,” Barber said. “Don’t try to mitigate the pain by keeping a popular player here. If you’re resetting, it’s a new regime, new philosophy…go all in. if you’re doing this and it’s gonna be painful, you’ve got to just go all in.
“If [Jones is] not gonna be a top-10 quarterback, then why are you worried about figuring him out and trying to get a little bit above average quarterback? He’s never gonna be a top 10, maybe he’s 15. Do you trust him to be like Eli [Manning] was? You trusted Eli because even if he was average, because if you got in a critical situation, he was showing up. You could count on that from Eli. Can you count on that from Daniel Jones?”
Addressing Barber's first point, it makes more sense to trade Barkley than it does to move on from Jones. Barkley is in the final year of his rookie contract and has been injury-prone. Second contracts for running backs rarely work out well, so there's definitely a case for the Giants trading him now and recouping whatever assets they can.
New general manager Joe Schoen made it clear this week that he has not actively tried to find a trade partner for Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
"I've got calls about a few of our players. He's one where a couple teams have reached out. But I'm not shopping Saquon Barkley," Schoen told reporters.
As for cutting or trading Jones, well, the Giants don't really have a great alternative unless they are sold on one of the incoming quarterbacks in this year's draft class. Trading assets for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo seemingly makes no sense for a rebuilding team.
New York is better off keeping Jones, declining his fifth-year option for 2023 and letting him play out the 2022 season with an eye on securing its franchise QB next offseason.