As the 2023 NFL season approaches, all eyes are on Saquon Barkley, the electrifying running back for the New York Giants.
Despite being embroiled in a contract dispute with the team, Barkley‘s exceptional skills and outstanding performance have earned him the coveted title of the top running back for the upcoming season.
Heavy Sports’ Senior NFL Insider, Matt Lombardo, recently named Barkley the No. 1 running back for the 2023 NFL season:
Saquon Barkley answered the bell, and his critics, in 2022, during the most prolific season of his career. His spot on this ranking comes with an asterisk, given the risk that he could potentially hold out, after failing to reach a long-term agreement with the Giants.
However, if Barkley plays in 2023, all of the factors are in place for him to have a career-year in 2023.
Finally fully healthy from a torn ACL in his right knee that kept him sidelined for all about five quarters of football in the 2020 season, Barkley regained his place among the most versatile and explosive backs in the NFL.
One year removed from rushing for a career-high 1,312 yards with 10 touchdowns last season and adding 57 catches for 338 yards, Barkley’s second season in Brian Daboll’s system — which places a heavy emphasis on getting the ball in his hands in space could be even more prolific.
However, amidst the accolades, the standoff between Barkley and the Giants over a long-term deal casts a cloud of uncertainty over his immediate future with the team.
A Stellar 2022 Season for Saquon Barkley
The 2022 NFL season was a defining one for Saquon Barkley.
Despite facing adversity and injury, Barkley showcased his resilience and talent, producing an impressive 1,312 rushing yards, a career-high, while averaging 4.4 yards per carry and scoring 10 touchdowns made him an essential factor in the Giants’ return to the playoffs, culminating in a memorable postseason win over the Vikings.
The Contract Dispute
As the Giants and Barkley’s camp engaged in contract negotiations, the two sides found themselves at an impasse.
After the Giants exercised the franchise tag on Barkley during the offseason, efforts to secure a long-term deal fell short, resulting in a tense contract dispute. In response, Barkley has threatened to hold out for the entire 2023 season if a resolution cannot be reached.
presence is undeniably a game-changer for the Giants. His ability to take over games and create explosive plays makes him a formidable weapon on the field. Should Barkley follow through with his holdout threat, the Giants’ offense would undoubtedly suffer a significant blow.
Barkley’s absence would force the team to rely on a committee of running backs, potentially affecting offensive cohesion and limiting the explosiveness that he brings to the field. Moreover, without Barkley’s playmaking abilities, the Giants’ offense could become more predictable and susceptible to opposing defenses.
arkley’s recognition as the top running back for the 2023 NFL season serves as a testament to his exceptional talents and impact on the league. Despite the ongoing contract dispute with the Giants, Barkley’s remarkable performance in 2022 has earned him the respect and admiration of fellow players, coaches, and fans.
The uncertainty surrounding Barkley’s contract situation adds an air of tension and apprehension as the new season approaches. Giants fans are eager to see their star player on the field, but the possibility of a holdout looms large.