Big Blue View Mailbag: Saquon Barkley Scenarios, 2022 Predictions & More

Let us help you pass the time as you count the minutes ahead New York Giants The 2022 NFL season opened Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. How? Well, by opening the Big Blue View mailbag, of course.

Jason Stoll asks: We’ve basically reached the start of the 2022 regular season, so it’s time for our final regular season predictions. From where I’m sitting, the team looks set to win again in less than 5 games. While there is no definitive word, it seems unlikely that Thibodeaux or Ojulari will not be healthy enough to play the first week, and perhaps not for the next several weeks? It seems particularly likely that Ojulari is doomed to lose a sophomore campaign after suffering back-to-back injuries to the lower leg. It’s hard to imagine Aaron Robinson holding up, especially if there’s no rush in passing at first. As soon as 1 opponent plays in our defense, especially early without a rush of passes, if this happens, boatloads of surrendered points appear initially. Offensively, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a receiving corps (WR’s and TE’s) as untalented as the one heading into this year, a legacy from the previous regime. I can’t see Kenny Goladay contributing at all because he can’t seem to run anymore. Tony again almost missed pre-season due to injuries; Will he be there regularly during the season? That leaves Robinson, a 5’8-tall rookie, and a cadre of permanent coaching staff. As for TE, there’s rookie Bellinger and then two trash heap guys. Really, a lot of nothing. And of course, there’s Barkley who might go crazy in a positive way, but could easily suffer his fourth straight season from a debilitating injury. I know you wrote the other day that during pre-season the Giants collected 25 ppg, but they did it in just seconds. When you look at this team with cold objectivity, this looks a lot like the first year of a multi-year rebuild. Next draft take QB Schoen and Daboll think he could be ‘the guy’, and starting in 2024 hopefully we’ll be competitive. Is this the way you see things? Are you in camp 5-12 or worse, or do you fancy wins in the 7-10 range given the apparent weakness in the schedule?

Ed says: Jason, I’m not as negative as you are. Then again, I don’t want to make it seem like everything is sunshine and rainbows with giants.

I can’t imagine anything. Well, I might imagine some thing But none of them have anything to do with giants. I cover them for a living and try to look at them as objectively as possible.

I’m in a wait-and-see mode. When I had ex-giant Brandon London on the “Valentine’s Views” podcast, he said he compared his feelings about the 2022 giants to driving in the middle of the road, complying with the speed limit and seeing what happened – good or bad.

I don’t know how good – or bad – the giants are. What I do know is that with Joe Shuen as GM I feel better about the long-term success of the franchise than I have in a while.

They probably won four games. Maybe they won nine. I will enjoy the trip, and give you the best coverage possible.

Two Barclay questions. I will give one answer below. Jacob, David, I hope this touches on what you both are looking for.

Jacob Willett asks: I may be a blind optimist but I’m expecting Saquon to have an All Pro type this year. If it does, is it really a good idea to give it a time out? There is a strong possibility that Schoen will want to craft his QB franchise in the next two years which means they have QB on a cost-controlled contract for 4-5 years. The Saquon contract can even be preloaded to get years of big capital before they have to potentially pay Thomas, McKinney, and Tony. He seems to be the teammate and professional you might want around a potential young QB as he begins his career in New York.

David Matuozzi asks: Many fans believe that no matter what Saquon performs this year, this will be his last in the Blue Giants. They believe that if he does poorly, the team will move on to a better person. But if he gets back into shape, he will demand a huge contract that the New Giants regime refuses to pay.

My question is how accurate is the last characterization? Giants fans can’t be the only people who have noticed how bad contracts like the ones given to Zeke Elliott and Christian McCaffrey can be. Is it possible that salaries at the top of the back market have fallen from that point, perhaps to a price the giants might be willing to pay to keep Saquon?

Ed says: I’ve said before that I also think Sacon Barkley is heading for a good season. Provided, of course, that he remains healthy. All-Pro or equivalent 2018 I think is overly optimistic, but I think he will remind everyone that he is a great player.

There are many scenarios for how things might work out with Barkley. I think if the Giants move on from Daniel Jones and recruit a rising midfielder that increases Barkley’s odds of staying with the Giants for at least another two years.

If the Jones brand doesn’t award the franchise with a projected 2023 cost of $31.497 million or sign him on a long-term deal, you can draft a quarterback and make him into a less expensive junior deal for four or five years. You can then franchise the Barkley brand at an estimated cost of $12.696 million, which would be palatable to me for a 26-year-old going back in a good year.

No matter what, I think Schwinn’s instinct and training would make him hate giving Barkley a big financial deal. See Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley for Show A for why. If there is a middle ground, and that depends in large part on Barkley’s health and what kind of contract he ultimately asks for, it may be worth exploring. But, running backwards doesn’t get better with age, and giving a second contract with big money to fall back with a history of leg injuries is bad business.

I think what happens with Barkley will have as much to do with ownership as it has with Schoen. Jon Mara watched the situation with Odell Beckham, a player he didn’t want to lose, fall apart. If he watched the Giants move on from Jones, it would be another painful blow to the co-owner.

If Barkley remains healthy for the next couple of years and gives the Giants a reason to keep him, I think Mara will push to find a way to make it happen.

I think the Giants will postpone this decision for as long as possible. If I had to guess today, I think they’ll tag Barkley next year and kick a long-term decision into the 2024 season.

Greg Gill asks: What are the plans to protect Daniel Jones this year in the pocket? This quarterback has the potential if you can have it some pocket time. I understand the injuries were crippling but the second streak was ever practiced. I’ve been a fan since the 80’s and will always be a proud fan of wearing Big Blue.

Ed says: Greg, just look at the list. the draft. Free agency. They drafted Evan Neal No. 7 overall, and with Neal and Andrew Thomas, they now have a pair of little nails to build around that would make the majority of NFL teams jealous.

The biggest (and only) free agent boast the Giants made in the off-season was the signing of Mark Glowinsky, a strong veteran right-guard. They signed John Feliciano to play the quarterback. They drafted Joshua Ezeudu in round 3 and Marcus McKethan, who is at the end of the IR season, in round 5.

The Giants chose two linemen across the waiver claims to add depth – Jack Anderson and Tyre Phillips.

The Giants also have new offensive line coaches in Bobby Johnson and Tony Sparano Jr. Given the limited resources they had – and still have – at their disposal, they did as much as possible.

There’s more to do, but this current iteration of the offensive line needs to be improved upon what the Giants have offered in the season.

Bob Donnelly asks: When I look at the list of giants, one thing that jumps to me is the level of experience. 30 players with two or less years of NFL experience, including 10 junior players.

How concerned are you about this general lack of experience?

Ed says: concerned? I’m not worried at all. Not a little. Not an iota.

for what it’s worth, It came out this week with the average ages of each NFL roster. The average lifespan of giants is 26 years, 1 month, 14 days. This is the 11 youngest roster in the 32-team NFL.

Being young wherever possible is the absolute correct 100 percent approach. Giants aren’t competing to win a championship in 2022. You don’t build with older players beyond their initial tournaments. You build with youngsters who you think may have a bright future and can become part of the solution in the long run.

I keep saying this, but the decisions the giants make aren’t really about 2022. It’s about 2023 and beyond. Yes, Schwinn has said repeatedly that he wants to be as competitive as possible in 2022. However, he hasn’t added any bad contract veterans to try and make that happen. He’s been filling holes in low-cost deals for one year as he tries to straighten out the cap, identify the young core and see what the giants need to do in the middle.

So, no, I’m not worried about the lack of experience. If they deserve to play, I want to see these guys get on the field and have that experience. I don’t want to see veterans who won’t be giants in a year — like Logan Ryan and Blake Martinez — stand in their way.

Jim Jordan asks: When a player assignment is required, or a signature from another team’s coaching staff (such as Saints White Davis’ signature), does the team need to commit to keeping the player on the 53-player roster for any length of time? Or could he cut St. Davis tomorrow, pay him a week’s wages and then sign him on to the coaching staff?

Ed says: Jim, that’s a valid question. This is what the collective bargaining agreement says:

If a player on the coaching staff of one club (Club A) signs an NFL player contract with another club (Club B), (1) the player must receive three weeks’ salary from his NFL player contract at 53 Active/Inactive Player List the minimum even if terminated by Club B before this amount is earned, and (ii) Club B is required to count the player into the active/inactive list of 53 players for 3 matches (fad week counts as a game) If it is terminated, traded or appointed through concessions to another club, or signed as a free agent for the other club’s 53-player roster or coaching staff of another club before that time. If a player is terminated from Team B’s 53-man roster and signed to Club B’s coaching staff, he will continue to count on the club’s active/inactive 53-man roster but will not count toward the coaching team’s twelve or fourteen-man limit , as applicable, until all three game requirements are met. If a player is terminated before the end of the three-game period and is signed to the coaching staff of club B or is signed or appointed to the 53-player roster of the club or coaching staff, any salary (as defined in Article 13), Section 4 he receives from Any club in the NFL that applies to the three-game period, shall be set-off against the three-week salary it is entitled to receive from Club B. If promotion occurs with fewer than three matches remaining in the club. In the regular season, the game’s three requirements for the number of crew will not carry over to the next season.

Essentially, the trigger is protected from a scenario like the one you describe. The claimant team must put him on the list of 53 players and keep him there for three weeks. So, in this case, the New Orleans Saints Committed to Davis for at least the first three games of the season.