Giants’ Recent Signings Further Signal Life Without Barkley

All is quiet on the Giants. Literally. 


That is, definitely surrounding Saquon Barkley.


The Giants and Barkley could come to an agreement, but it looks unlikely. Josh Jacobs basically told the Raiders that he would be watching their game from his couch. If you missed it, former Broncos running abc Melvin Gordon signed a paltry $3.2 million deal with the Ravens.


Friday afternoon, the Giants definitely sent Barkley a message. They obviously are preparing for a season without him. 


They signed running back James Robinson, the ex-Jaguar standout and ex-Jet cup of coffee. They also inked ex-Bill wide receiver Cole Beasley. Together, they spent about $4 million, a far cry from a Barkley check.


With Beasley, they gained a veteran presence and an insurance policy for their receiving corps. Beasley, Jamison Crowder, and Sterling Shepard can help alleviate the pressures behind a budding unit that has potential.


As for Robinson, he gives the Giants a seasoned presence in the backfield – albeit just 24 – with backfield mates Gary Brightwell and Matt Breida, who were the previous established backs. Breida is 28, but he has bounced around. There also is fifth-round pick Eric Gray, who is getting more recognized, and undrafted free agent Jashaun Corbin.


Once highly regarded as a rising star, Robinson has become an enigma. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie season of 2020. However, he took an Achilles in 2021 and hasn’t been the same since.


Robinson fell out of favor with former Jaguars’ head coach Irwin Meyer, and he was traded to the Jets in October 2022 when rookie back Breece Hall went down with a season-ending injury.


He appeared to be a solution to the Jets’ running game, but was active for only four games and rushed for 85 yards. Robinson was injured, and his inactiveness was puzzling. He quietly left the scene after the season, as the Jets didn’t resign him.


Robinson was signed by New England in March, but he was released in June.When Bill Belichick gives up on you quickly, that can be a red flag.  He’ll join the Giants with 2,262 career yards in 39 games.


Now, it is up to head coach Brian Daboll to see if he can get the maximum out of Robinson and/or piece together a rotation with his backfield mates. Daboll did design a suitable offensive role for Barkley last season.


Robinson should have plenty left in his tank, and he has the chance to regain the stature he had in Jacksonville. He and Beasley can be two important cogs for the team this season.


More importantly, though, their signings signal that Barkley is a likely longshot to return this season.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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