INDIANAPOLIS -- Saquon Barkley's on-field availability has been a major question for the first four years of his career. His availability via trade could be the next unknown.
New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen indicated Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that trading the former No. 2 overall pick is not off the table, though that's the case for most players on Big Blue's roster.
"We're still working through that, but I'm open to anything. Like whether it's trading player for player. I'll listen to anybody," Schoen told reporters. "I'm not going to say we're open for business on our entire roster. But if anybody is going to call and they're interested in any of our players, I'll certainly listen.
"We're in a situation where unfortunately we have to get under the salary cap and we're not in very good salary cap health. I'm not going to say yes to every deal, but I'm definitely going to listen and be open to situations that are best for the New York Giants."
New York's cap problems this offseason are well-documented. Schoen's first order of business as a new GM is to shed $12 million in salary to get under the cap, a parting gift from former GM Dave Gettleman. Schoen outlined last week that "tough decisions" would have to be made regarding certain big-name players.
James Bradberry, Adoree' Jackson and Blake Martinez are considered candidates to be cut, traded or see their contracts restructured. But Barkley, who has missed 21 of a possible 49 games since 2019 and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns over his last two campaigns, would be a surprising casualty.
Saquon is owed $7.2 million in guaranteed cash in 2022, the fifth and final year of his rookie deal. If the Giants don't foresee a future with the star-crossed running back and want to shed that cap, they can offload Barkley to a team that wants him. But that would further dilute the talent on a Giants offense that is in need of playmakers.
Trading Barkley, arguably the face of a franchise in transition, would be a tough sell to fans. But new general managers tend to have different evaluations of players they inherit, and Schoen, who helped build a juggernaut Bills offense without the presence of a premier running back, is "open" at the very least to cutting ties with Gettleman's most controversial draft pick.