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Giants GM Makes His Opinion On Saquon Barkley Very Clear

Saquon Barkley on the field for the Giants.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 05: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The New York Giants officially introduced former Bills executive Joe Schoen as the organization's new general manager on Wednesday. During his first public appearance, he had a chance to talk about the state of affairs within the franchise.

Among the topics the Schoen discussed Wednesday was the future of Saquon Barkley.

The Giants starting running back, who was drafted in the first-round in 2018, has battled injuries throughout the last two seasons that have dramatically cut into his playing time. Nevertheless, Schoen feels confident in Barkley headed into 2022 and that improvements to other offensive positions could give him more of a chance to shine.

“He was in the locker room yesterday, so I got to have a good conversation with him,” Schoen said, via SNY. “I’m excited about Saquon. When he came out, he was a rare talent. I know he’s had some injuries, and that comes with that position. We talked a little bit about where we may need to upgrade. I think if you upgrade the offensive line, that’s gonna help Daniel [Jones]and it’s gonna help Saquon.”

In 13 games this past season, Barkley rushed 162 times for 593 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

While those numbers are admirable, they're a far cry from when Barkley racked up over 1,400 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons with the Giants. A torn ACL in 2020 and a serious ankle sprain in 2021 caused the former Penn State running back to miss quite a few games over the last two years.

Schoen's predecessor, Dave Gettleman, exercised the fifth-year option on Barkley's rookie contact, locking down the 24-year-old ballcarrier through at least the 2022 season. He'll earn a salary of just over $7.2 million during the next campaign.

However, for Schoen and the Giants to be willing to shell out a massive extension beyond next year, Barkley will need to prove that he can produce and stay on the field next fall.