24 Aug GETTING TO KNOW NY GIANTS RUNNING BACK SAQUON BARKLEY
Name: Saquon Barkely
Born: February 7, 1997 (age 24) in Bronx, New York
Drafted 2018: 1st Round, 2nd by New York Giants
College: Penn State
Salary: Base salary of only $850K in 2021, with the total-cash earnings (including signed bonus) valued at around $4.8M
Favorite Running Back growing up: Curtis Martin
Saquon Barkley is set to partake in team drills during the New York Giants’ upcoming joint practices with the New England Patriots. Barkley missed 14 games last season due to a torn ACL. He was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 9 for his first practice action since the injury, but New York has remained cautious. Now, he’s set to face some opposition for the first time since Week 2 of last season against the Bears.
Following the departure of Odell Beckham Jr, people were calling you the face of the Giants franchise. Last year you were injured most of the season. How do you handle the attention you’ve been getting?
People expect me to be this, to be that. Obviously people shape a career for me, or shape what I should be. But I already have a high standard for myself. I really don’t feel pressure from no one at all.
Going into your fourth season, why would you say that you and your team are better this year?
Confidence. I definitely feel more confident in myself and my teammates.
Is this a playoff team?
I believe that we have the talent to be a playoff team. Everybody in the NFL has the talent to be a playoff team. We just gotta find a way to have one more point than our opponent every week. I think this season could be a special season. I’m truly excited for it. I hope that Giants fans are there and supportive, and hopefully we can put on a show for them.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten so far and from whom?
The best advice that I’ve gotten from multiple people, family and friends: staying true to who you are, believe in the little things, continue to work on the little things, control what you can control.
What’s your philosophy on engaging with fans?
The way I try to interact with fans is the chances I do have to interact with them, I try to be nice to them, try to take pictures, because you never know – that picture, that signed autograph could change someone’s day, could change someone’s life. It sounds crazy when you say ‘someone’s life,’ ‘someone’s year,’ but that’s the reality that we have as athletes – the impact that we’re able to have on people. I would definitely not be doing justice to people and to my family if I don’t try to do that. I want to be a person where I can have an impact on this world and on other people and it starts with stuff like that.
Heading into the Giants opener, what message would you want to give to fans?
My message to Giants fans would be that it’s a long season, and we do have the pieces to be great. We have the challenge to be great. I think if you look on paper, anybody in their right mind that knows sports, that knows football, would agree with that.