For the second consecutive offseason, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is slated to be an unrestricted free agent.
The 27-year-old amassed 1,242 all-purpose yards and 10 total touchdowns during the 2023 season while playing on an adjusted franchise tag. Even so, given Barkley’s age, injury history and New York’s previous reluctance to give him a lucrative long-term contract extension, it might make sense for both sides to part ways this offseason.
With that, here are four running backs the Giants should consider adding this offseason to replace Barkley.
Jonathon Brooks, Texas
New York’s easiest path to replacing Barkley is through the 2024 NFL Draft. While there aren’t any projected first-round running backs, the lack of a blue-chip prospect benefits the Giants since they wouldn’t have to spend a high pick at the position. Instead, the Giants can wait for a good value selection to fall to them, and Brooks could provide the solution.
Despite suffering a season-ending ACL injury in November, Brooks is the consensus No. 1 running back prospect in the 2024 class, according to ESPN’s NFL Draft analysts’ rankings. After sitting behind NFL running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson for two seasons, Brooks finally earned his chance to start for the Longhorns in 2023. Brooks totaled 1,425 all-purpose yards and scored 11 touchdowns in just 10 games, rushing for at least 98 yards in each of his final eight contests.
The Giants hold two picks in the second round — Nos. 39 and 47 overall — to spend on Brooks, though if his injury causes his stock to fall a round later, he would be a no-brainer selection.