Monday, July 17, 2023

Joe Schoen's Long-Game: Saquon's Franchise Tag Signals Giants' Rebuilding Phase, Not a Championship Run



 Joe Schoen's decision not to pay Saquon Barkley, one of the league's premier running backs, hints towards the New York Giants' lack of ambition to challenge for the championship in the upcoming season. The logic behind this argument unfolds in multiple aspects of team building, financial strategy, and long-term planning.

Firstly, Saquon Barkley's potential departure represents an underlying admission that the Giants are transitioning into a rebuilding phase, not a competitive one. Barkley is a bona fide superstar, with the ability to change the game in an instant with his exceptional vision, agility, and power. He's a cornerstone player that franchises dream of building around. By choosing not to invest in Barkley's future with the Giants, Schoen seems to be signaling a strategic shift towards focusing on the development of young, unproven talent, which is more characteristic of a rebuilding team than a championship contender.

Moreover, the financial implications of this decision must be considered. By not extending Barkley's contract, Schoen is freeing up a significant amount of cap space. This will allow the Giants to pursue a more balanced roster and potentially make key additions in multiple areas of weakness. However, championship-contending teams are typically more willing to tolerate tighter cap situations in exchange for keeping elite players. Schoen's conservative approach, while financially sensible, points towards a more cautious short-term strategy, implying that a championship run isn't the immediate goal.

The Giants' current roster composition further reinforces this argument. The lack of depth and proven talent at several key positions - notably offensive line and linebacker - suggests that the Giants are more than one player away from contending. Keeping Barkley on a large long term contract would only tie up more resources that could be used to address these multiple areas of concern. 

Additionally, running backs have one of the shortest career spans in the NFL, and Barkley has not been immune to injuries. By the time the Giants have built a competitive roster, Barkley may no longer be in his prime. Thus, it seems that Schoen is looking more towards the future than the upcoming season.

In conclusion, Joe Schoen's unwillingness to pay Saquon Barkley points to the Giants not aiming for a championship in the upcoming season. The combination of a shifting strategic focus, cautious financial management, roster deficiencies, and Barkley's career timeline indicates a plan that looks more towards a long-term rebuild than immediate glory. However, football is unpredictable, and only time will tell if this strategy will ultimately lead the Giants to success.

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