Giants’ Saquon Barkley was one of NFL’s most explosive runners in 2022

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is still not under contract as the team heads into the summer break. The squabble appears to be over what most contract squabbles are over: money, security and respect.

Many believe the issue will be resolved before the July 17 deadline and Barkley will be safely in the fold for a few more seasons.

That would be a good thing for the Giants. Barkley had a bounceback season in 2022 and was ranked seventh in’s list of 10 most explosive runners last season.

Last season was an incredible comeback campaign for Barkley, who eased concerns that the injury bug would prevent him from making his way back onto lists like this one. Barkley shook off that pest with emphasis in 2022, racking up 1,312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 295 carries, posting the third-best per-carry average (4.4) of his career and his best mark since 2019. That effort was good enough for a third-place finish in Comeback Player of the Year voting, and a seventh-place ranking among the league’s most explosive runners.

Finishing with the second-most gains of 10-plus yards over expected (17) didn’t hurt Barkley’s case for this list, nor did his six runs of 20-plus mph. Despite a lengthy lower-body injury history, Barkley consistently proved he had rediscovered the explosive abilities that led to his selection as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 draft. It came at a good time, too, as Barkley was in a contract year. Barkley’s 2022 performance showed that the Giants shouldn’t give up on him. After receiving the franchise tag this offseason, he now has to prove he can maintain that level in 2023.

Last year, Saquon posted some impressive ‘explosive numbers’ as cited below.

  • Explosive score: 85
  • 10+ yard runs: 32
  • 10+ pct: 10.8%
  • 15+ mph runs: 48
  • 15+ mph pct: 16.3%

That should be enough to convince the Giants’ brass of the 26-year-old star’s value. But, one has to keep in mind that the shot callers in East Rutherford may not value the running back position enough to fill one player’s pouch with all the gold.

Head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen came from Buffalo, a franchise that employs a ‘running back-by-committee’ approach. So do assistant general manager Brandon Brown (Philadelphia) and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka (Kansas City) and all of those teams have been successful with it.

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