Fits for Barkley this offseason
As one of the best NFL free agents in 2023, what is Saquon Barkley’s free agency in 2023 going to look like?
There hasn’t been any official Barkley offseason news just yet. But the Barkley free agent rumors are already running rampant, especially since it’s unclear if the Giants consider the franchise tag to be a realistic option.
Fits for Saquon Barkley in free agency 2023
Assuming that the Giants don’t use the franchise tag on him, what will Saquon Barkley’s free agency in 2023 look like? Coming off a season in which he ran for over 1,300 yards and made the Pro Bowl for the second time, there is bound to be a lot of teams interested in signing him.
Let’s take a closer look at Saquon Barkley’s free agency in 2023 and the teams that are the best fit to sign him this offseason.
The most likely option for Barkley this offseason could be staying with the Giants. He’s mentioned his desire to stay and obviously, the G-Men would be foolish not to want him back. However, it’s going to come down to money.
As a running back, Barkley may not have a long career, especially since he’s already had a couple of injury-plagued seasons. Nobody would blame Barkley for trying to maximize his earning potential right now and go to the highest bidder.
That could put the Giants in a tough position with Daniel Jones also a free agent, leaving the quarterback position a huge question mark. That means if Barkley truly wants to stay with the Giants, he might need to compromise a little financially.
Denver has been labeled as one of the early favorites for signing Barkley if the Giants don’t find a way to keep him. The Broncos like what they have with Javonte Williams, who still has time left on his rookie contract. But Williams is also coming off a knee injury.
Offensively, Denver is set at wide receiver, but landing a top-flight running back like Barkley could do wonders when it comes to taking some of the pressure off Russell Wilson.
Keep in mind that the Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey this past season, which opens up some salary cap space and room in their backfield heading into 2023.
Carolina doesn’t have much stability at quarterback or in the backfield, so signing Barkley would solve at least one of those problems. No matter who ends up being the Carolina quarterback in 2023, life would be a little easier for them with Barkley lining up behind them on every play.
A win-now team like the Bills will surely take a serious look at Barkley once free agency begins. Buffalo has used a backfield by committee in recent years, a strategy that hasn’t exactly paid off.
This past season, Devin Singletary barely beat out Josh Allen as the team’s leading rusher, and the Bills would probably prefer not to have Allen responsible for such a huge chunk of their rushing yards.
For the same reasons the Bills could use Barkley, the Chiefs could use him as well. Kansas City hasn’t exactly established a top-flight rushing attack in recent years or had much stability in the backfield.
Needless to say, Barkley would immediately solve both of those issues. Of course, the Chiefs just won the Super Bowl without a game-changer like Barkley at running back. They should also be a little intrigued with the potential offered by Isiah Pacheco. Plus, Kansas City’s cap space could be better utilized at the wide receiver position.
Before the Ravens do anything this offseason, they have to figure out the situation with Lamar Jackson. But if Jackson is traded rather than signed to a long-term deal, the Ravens would become immediate players for Barkley.
Obviously, the quarterback situation would have some uncertainty for Baltimore in that scenario. Thus, creating the need and the funds necessary to bring in a top-flight running back like Barkley.
If Barkley can’t return to the Giants, signing with the Jets might actually be the next best thing.
Barkley’s dad is actually a Jets fan, so he might be open to a switch to Gang Green, especially since he wouldn’t have to move. The catch is the Jets aren’t hurting at running back after drafting Michael Carter and Breece Hall in consecutive seasons. They also have to sort out their situation at quarterback before pledging the type of money it’ll take to sign Barkley.
It surely stings for the Eagles after losing the Super Bowl, but one thing to make them feel better could be signing a player like Barkley away from one of their NFC East rivals. Miles Sanders is heading to free agency as well, so there is an opening in the Philadelphia backfield.
Barkley would surely be considered an upgrade over Sanders and could be quite dangerous alongside Jalen Hurts.
The Dolphins have had a world of issues at the running back position over the last few years. In a sense, they might need Barkley more than just about any other team.
Keep in mind almost all of their current running backs will be free agents when the new league year begins. Other than adding depth to their roster, running back is arguably Miami’s biggest need this offseason, so it makes sense for the Dolphins to pursue the top running back available.
If the Bears are going to keep Justin Fields, they surely have to surround him with better players.
Barkley undoubtedly fits that description, especially with David Montgomery set to become a free agent. Obviously, the wide receiver position might be a better place for Chicago to seek upgrades this offseason. But forcing teams to worry about Barkley could benefit Fields in other ways, making Barkley a legitimate option for the Bears to pursue.
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