Saquon Barkley plans to be “big reason” why Giants turn things around

Among the many disappointments for the Giants this season has been the play of running back Saquon Barkley, who has missed four games with an ankle injury and rushed 100 times for 379 yards when he has been healthy enough to be in the lineup.

Barkley missed 14 games after tearing his ACL last year, three games in 2019, and the Giants have gone 19-42 since taking Barkley with the second overall pick of the 2018 draft, so it’s fair to say that Barkley hasn’t had the kind of impact the team was hoping he’d have on their fortunes. Barkley called the results “unfortunate,” but said he believes things will turn for both him and the team.

Barkley told Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press that he feels “my burst was there a little bit” when watching tape of last Sunday’s loss to the Chargers and that it is going to “be a beautiful story” when the Giants finally put all of the pieces together. He added that he wants to remain a major part of the team as that process plays out.

“I plan on being a big reason why we turn this thing around,” Barkley said. “That’s just my mind-set, that’s my thought process. When I got drafted here, I said I want to be here for the rest of my life. I was born in New York, I’m from Pennsylvania. I live an hour and some change from my parents’ house. This is where I started my career, where I would love to finish my career. I know this thing is going to turn around and I would love to be a part of the reason it does.”

The Giants exercised Barkley’s fifth-year option, so he’ll almost certainly be back in 2022 regardless of other changes the team makes to their operations. Anything beyond that is up in the air, but the sooner that “beautiful story” gets underway the better for Barkley’s chances of spending his entire career with the team that drafted him.