For a city that has brought Saquon Barkley more trouble than success, the Giants running back is still grateful to be in New York.
At the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive at the Bronx River Community Center on Monday, Barkley said he won’t get caught up in the league’s business, but rather stays focused on what’s in front of him.
“I’m just grateful for everything. You know, I try to stay really focused on that,” he said, despite facing contract difficulties in the offseason. When asked if he was grateful to be there, he replied: “I’m just blessed. Just another day in my life. I have a beautiful family, a healthy family. You wake up and play a kid’s game and you get paid a lot of money for it.”
“So I try not to get too wrapped up in that or anything else. I’m really grateful to be able to do what I can.”
Barkley has been adamant that he wants to remain with the Giants, pledging allegiance to his first and only NFL team, despite the obstacles he has faced throughout his six years in the league.
The Giants have struggled in five of the six seasons since he was drafted in 2018, posting their only winning record (9-7) in 2022 and missing the team’s first playoff berth since 2016. Obtained.
The team that drafted Barkley is currently nowhere to be found. Barkley works with Brian Daboll, the third head coach after Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge, and Mike Kafka, the fourth offensive coordinator (after Mike Shula, Jason Garrett and Freddie). It’s because I’m here. kitchen).
Additionally, general manager Dave Gettleman, who selected Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, has left the Giants, leaving Barkley with no particular allegiance to him during new contract negotiations this offseason. I ended up confronting the front office.
Unable to secure a long-term contract and deciding not to push forward after being placed on the franchise tag, Barkley signed a one-year contract worth $10.1 million with $900,000 in incentives, which he didn’t receive after missing three games with his ankle. tied. Injuries knocked the Giants out of playoff contention.
Still, on Monday, a few days before Thanksgiving, he was there, distributing more than 300 turkeys and fresh produce to people in need in the neighborhood where his mother grew up.
“That makes it even more special. It’s great to be here and see everyone volunteering and putting smiles on people’s faces,” he said. “Lots of smiles. Lots of banter. I’ll also test my Spanish a little bit. I definitely have to be sharper at that.”
Barkley spoke of the importance of meeting people in the community, rather than just donating money, giving back, or other “easy methods.”
He wants to be with the people around him in the city he is devoted to.
“It feels special to come out here and see their faces and see their smiles,” he said. “And not just standing around, but also actually doing the work with the volunteers. I feel like it goes a long way, and hopefully we can make an impact.”