What are the fair 2022 predictions for Sacon Barkley?
Perhaps it isn’t fair to expect the extraordinary Barkley we saw as a rookie in 2018, when he rewrote the franchise’s junior record book, scoring 2,028 melee yards and winning the Rookie Offensive of the Year award. Despite that, it’s perfectly fair to expect a better – perhaps much better – performance from Barkley than he did a year ago.
Let’s talk about the player that former General Manager Dave Gettleman picked #2 overall in 2018 NFL Project As we continue with each player’s look at the list of 90 players the Giants will be bringing to training camp this summer.
Height: 6 foot
location: running back
bypass: Fifth year option valued at $7.217 million | Hitting the cap 2021: $7.217 million
career so far
In 2018, Barkley was all Gittleman told us he was going to be. He was really special, doing things that we can only compare to the kind of “How did he do that?” Our opinion runs from Barry Sanders once upon a time.
Fires that burn with such brightness, however, do not always stay hot for long periods of time. Injuries, and the somewhat silliness around him, made the 2018 edition of Barkley little more than a fun, but distant memory.
Barkley was good in 2019, but he wasn’t so good. He missed three games due to a sprained ankle and played half or more of the season with less than 100 percent. He still ended up with 1,003 flowing yards and 1,441 but mostly Barkley’s special version wasn’t there.
Playing only two matches in 2020, AFC Champions League 2 week was torn apart.
It may not have been fair to expect the 2018 edition of Barkley in 2021 as he is back from a serious injury, but we were all hoping. We did not understand it. We have a player who may not have been a walker, but he didn’t make players miss like Saquon Barkley as a rookie. Between that, a rotten offensive line, plagued by watching Mike Glennon and Jake Froome playing too much football, and an ankle injury that cost him four games, 2021 was a forgotten year.
Barkley is supposed to be better in 2022 than he was in 2021. Will he play as if he was “influenced by the hand of God,” as one former GM member described it? Hope it’s good. Expecting that is grossly unfair. Like it or not, Barkley has had a string of leg injuries over the past three years, and that can’t be good to go back in any way.
Perhaps we should set the standards for Barkley’s 2019 performance. He averaged 110.8 yards per game of scrimmage that season. In 2021, the only player to beat this average in every game was Jonathan Taylor of Team Indianapolis Colts (127.7). Barkley’s 2019 total would have been No. 2 behind Taylor.
Without a doubt, the Giants were gladly taking nearly 111 total yards per game from Barkley.
There must be optimism.
Barkley said last April that he was able to spend his off-season training however he wanted rather than rehabilitate his surgically repaired knee.
“I definitely feel a lot different, a lot better. I feel like myself again,” Barkley said.
“I don’t do knee rehab. This one. I don’t think outside anymore. At the time, I was like, ‘I don’t even think about that,’ but then when you replace yourself and look back a year later, you’ll say, ‘Oh my God!'” They’re two completely different things.”
“To get stronger, to go back to the way I like to train, my training resume. Also adding new things to keep me healthy – in terms of mobility, stability, all those little things. It’s not just now. I want to play this game for a long time.” I don’t want to have a short career. That comes with taking care of your body. That’s really the biggest difference I make, I train hard and push my body, but also train smart.”
There are of course other changes. Joe Judge and Dave Gittleman are gone, along with Jason Jarrett and Freddie Kitchens. Crime, with Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka at the controls, should be more diverse. The offensive line should be better.
This means that Barkley and the other giants playmakers should have a better chance of succeeding.
“What is his future with the Giants?” The question, of course, hangs on the 25-year-old Barkley.
Barkley plays 2022 in his fifth year of choice. Unless the Giants franchise signs him or sign him to a long-term deal, he could be a free agent at the end of the season. Could the Giants possibly use Barkley as bait in the mid-season NFL trade deadline?
That’s a question for another day. Step 1 is to see if Barkley can get close to the player he was previously,