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Joe Schoen called out Saquon Barkley amid Giants trade speculation

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Joe Schoen immediately called out Saquon Barkley, showing the first-year general manager understands that communication is king when it comes to not letting anything with his players get celebrated or misinterpreted.

Last month, Schoen of the NFL Scouting Combine said, “I’m open to anything” when asked about the possibility of trading Barkley. To some, this was (mistakenly) interpreted as Schoen acknowledging that he would actively buy Barkley. Sensing that, Schoen connected with the Giants running back to set the record straight.

“It was taken a bit out of context at the combine,” Schoen said Monday during NFL owners meetings. “I didn’t call a single team on Saquon Barkley. Everyone ran with it from the combine, I said I would listen if people called players, I would be irresponsible if I didn’t. No. This does not mean that I will do all the transactions.

Asked if he’s had any calls about Barkley, Schoen said: “I’ve had calls about a few of our players and he’s one that a few teams have contacted. ”

Saquon Barkley
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The Giants would save $7.2 million in salary and salary cap if they part ways with Barkley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There’s another Giants newcomer who has an interest in whether Barkley stays or goes: Brian Daboll.

“We have an offensive head coach,” Schoen said with a smile. “He likes to have as many weapons and toys as possible.”

The Giants have until May 2 to decide if they will pick fifth-year options on QB Daniel Jones and DL Dexter Lawrence. Schoen said he looks forward to the start of the offseason program in two weeks, which will give him the opportunity to get to know the players better before making any decisions on their contracts. The Giants are not expected to take the option for Jones , which would guarantee him $22.3 million for the 2023 season.

Joe Schoen
Joe Schoen

WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles) and LB Blake Martinez (ACL) are in rehab at the Giants facility. Both veterans took major pay cuts to stay on the roster. Martinez was injured three months before Shepard and is therefore closer to a full recovery. Schoen said he hopes both players will be available in August.

“Two guys I really enjoy being with, leaders, kicking ass,” Schoen said.

The news isn’t as promising for C Nick Gates, who is trying to return from multiple leg surgeries.

“Wait and see on that one, we’re still not sure,” Schoen said.

Two weeks ago, the Giants released S Logan Ryan, who has since signed with the Buccaneers. Parting ways with Ryan was a football decision, as it saved the Giants just $775,000 on the salary cap.

“It was the best decision for the New York Giants,” is all Schoen had to say, other than to wish Ryan “all the best.”

The newest member of the offensive line is Max Garcia, who signed a one-year contract. Garcia, 30, has 52 NFL starts on his resume, including 11 last season for the Cardinals. In 2016 and 2017, he was a full-time starter for the Broncos.

During his NFL career, Garcia has 39 regular season starts at left guard, nine at right guard and four at center. His only playoff start was at right guard.

Former Giants guard Will Hernandez, a 2018 second-round pick, has signed with the Cardinals.


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