With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.



2023 YEAR IN REVIEW: Hampered by instability and poor play at quarterback and the offensive line, as well as another lower body injury, Saquon Barkley did not have the season hoped for in 2023. Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 and missed the next three games. Playing in a total of 14 contests, he finished the 2023 season with 247 carries for 962 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and six rushing touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 280 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

For the second season in a row, Matt Breida served as the team’s primary back-up behind Barkley, playing in 26 percent of all offensive snaps. And for the second season in a row, he played in all 17 games. However, as with Barkley, the issues at quarterback and on the offensive line reduced his productivity. Breida’s rushing yards dropped from 220 yards on 54 carries (4.1 yards per carry) to 151 yards on 55 carries (2.7 yards per carry).

The Giants selected Eric Gray in the 5th round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He had a somewhat disappointing rookie season, missing a month on Injured Reserve with a calf injury. Gray played in the other 13 games, carrying the ball 17 times for 48 yards (2.8 yards per carry) and catching six passes for 22 yards.

Gary Brightwell’s 2023 season was largely sabotaged by a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 7. He spent the remainder of the year on Injured Reserve. In the seven games that he did play, Brightwell carried the ball nine times for 19 yards (2.1 yards per carry) and caught five passes for 47 yards. His biggest impact remained as a core special teams player.

In his second season with the team, Jashaun Corbin was waived by the Giants in August, signed by the Carolina Panthers to their Practice Squad, and then re-signed by the Giants to their 53-man roster. Corbin ended up playing in six games, carrying the ball once and catching it three times for minimal yardage.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: Saquon Barkley signed a 3-year, $37.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants chose to not re-sign Matt Breida, who remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent. Gary Brightwell was waived/injured in late May. The Giants signed Devin Singletary from the Houston Texans to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract. They also drafted Tyrone Tracy in the 5th round of the 2024 NFL Draft and signed rookie free agent Dante Miller in April. UFL running back Jacob Saylors was signed in mid-June.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: This position was almost completely revamped in the offseason. Gone are three of last year’s four running backs, including the face of the franchise since 2018 (Barkley) and the #2 back for the past two seasons (Breida). More significantly, Barkley was the only offensive player on this roster in recent years who other teams had to worry about. Not to dwell too much in the past, Barkley’s 2023 contract situation also indirectly led to the Daniel Jones’ contract mess. It’s also interesting to note that while the team Franchised Barkley and publicly said they would not field trade offers for him, they ended up letting him walk in free agency just a few months later.

The end of the Saquon Barkley era is significant on a number of fronts. The team decided to shift financial resources from the running back position to the offensive line. In addition, the Giants will now shift from the traditional “workhorse” running back to a running back-by-committee approach. Since 2018, the #2 and #3 backs on the Giants have been afterthoughts. Again, perhaps most significantly, the running back on the team will not be the face of the offensive football team. While there may be a talent drop-off, the coaching staff may feel like they now have greater freedom to run the style of offense they are more comfortable with. And if we are going to be brutally frank, the team’s offense always took a nosedive when Barkley inevitably got hurt (four of his six NFL seasons).

For better or worse, one gets the sense that the team will be more pass-centric. The running backs currently on this roster – who can all catch the ball – will be part of that equation.

ON THE BUBBLE: Of the 21 free agents the team signed in the offseason, only three were given multi-year deals. One was Devin Singletary, the second player the team signed in March. Barring injury, he will begin the season as starter. Both running backs this regime drafted in the 5th round – Eric Gray and Tyrone Tracy – will also likely make the roster. The team may only carry three running backs, four at most. So Jashaun Corbin, Dante Miller, and Jacob Saylors are all on the bubble.

FROM THE COACHES: Brian Daboll on the running backs: “I’ve had familiarity with Devin. Devin has been a productive back when he was with me at Buffalo, he did a good job at Houston. (He) has some good leadership traits about him. He knows our system inside and out. He was in Houston for one year, but he’s very comfortable with how we do things. He’s done a good job leading that room with some younger guys in there, whether it be Gray, Tracy.

“Tracy has been a good – I wouldn’t say surprise later round draft pick, but he’s done a good job in this camp of picking up the information pretty quickly. (New running backs coach) Joel Thomas has really done a good job with him. So I’m encouraged by the group until we get the pads on and taking shots and blitz pickup and things like that. Up to this point they’re doing everything they can do to be as good as they can.”

FINAL THOUGHTS: The last decade of New York Giants football has been represented by a couple of memorable players on terrible football teams. From my perspective, the stink of those terrible football teams can not be washed off the likes of Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley. Both truly flashed Hall of Fame potential, but both career arcs as Giants went south very quickly. It’s very possible that Barkley has great success in Philadelphia, but it was time to move on. It wasn’t working here and both parties will be better off. And to be brutally frank again, Barkley never regained his rookie form, was constantly hurt, and was very much overrated by the media.

Devin Singletary won’t scare the other team like Barkley could. But he’s solid and reliable. (Side note, he certainly isn’t shy, choosing to wear #26). Fan reaction to Eric Gray seems odd given he only ran the ball 17 times as a rookie and only five times after Week 5. No player should ever be definitively judged on such a low sample size. Gray has talent and this is an important camp for him. Tyrone Tracy is one of the more interesting New York Giants draft prospects in recent memory. A former wide receiver who only played one year at running back in college, he was universally lauded by draftniks as a favorite prospect and seems to have already caught the attention of the coaches.

The wild card is potentially Dante Miller, a small running back with blazing speed who last played significant snaps at Columbia in 2021. The new kickoff rules may help his cause, but on the flip side the team may need the roster spot for a third quarterback.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Devin Singletary, Tyrone Tracy, Eric Gray