March 14, 2024   3 MIN READ

Greener Pasture

Barkley Banking On Birds To Rescue Career


After several years of being on the “other side” of the rivalry, new Eagles running back Saquon Barkley admitted to some strange feels in his new wardrobe.

“When I put this hoodie on it’s definitely feels different,” said the former Giants running back whose signing with the Eagles early in free agency shook up the NFL.

“We’ve been on the worse side of the rivalry, I guess you could say, for the last couple years.”

Barkley on Thursday said he hopes that exchanging the trademark Blue of the Giants for the Eagles’ Midnight Green also reverses the trajectory of his once-promising career, as the 2018 No. 2 overall pick from Penn State toiled for a mostly losing team during his six-year career with New York, one that featured just two playoff games.

Saquon Barkley

The versatile and explosive Barkley, 26, led the NFL as a rookie with 2,028 total yards but hasn’t come close to that mark since, with injuries, a contract dispute and running behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines have taken their toll on the Lehigh Valley native.

“I feel like I’m a rookie all over again,” said Barkley, who signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the Eagles. “Just being around talented guys, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I feel like I’m a special player. I feel like I still got a lot left, got a lot to prove.”

Barkley, who attended Whitehall High School, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, said he looked forward to playing for his hometown team and being even closer this family.

Barkley had originally committed to Rutgers out of high school before changing his mind and deciding on Penn State, where he blossomed into one of the sport’s most prolific weapons. He finished with 51 career touchdowns and more than 5,000 total yards in three seasons before being picked No. 2 overall.

The Eagles never had an opportunity to draft Barkley and wound up trading out of the first round altogether in 2018, but ITB’s Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher reported in the most recent Inside The Birds podcast that Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman had always felt strongly about Barkley’s playmaking ability and pounced on the opportunity to land him in free agency.

The NFL is looking into tampering violations pertaining to impermissible contact between Roseman and Barkley, but the team and Barkley have denied wrongdoing.

Barkley expressed some regret for his comments on social media about the end of his Giants career but also relief that working through his contract situation is over for at least the next two years, as the Eagles guaranteed $26 million of his deal.

He and the Giants had agreed on a one-year revised deal in 2023 to avoid Barkley playing on the franchise tag, and the team and Barkley failed on many attempts to strike a long-term deal.

“Now all that’s done,” Barkley said. “We can keep the main thing the main thing, and that’s just going out there and winning football games.”

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

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