Justin Pugh defends Saquon Barkley: ‘No Giants fans can be mad’

New York Giants free-agent offensive lineman Justin Pugh is telling Giant fans on social media to not blame running back Saquon Barkley for his departure to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Barkley, who did not receive a contract offer from the Giants in free agency, agreed to a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the rival Eagles on Monday.

Pugh says it’s just business.

The Giants did not elect to use the franchise tag on Barkley this year as they did in 2023. Instead, they allowed him to test the market and the Eagles swooped in and bowled him over with a deal worth well more than the Giants were willing to offer.

Barkley, as stated in the X post by Pugh, did indeed give everything he had for Big Blue in his six seasons after being selected No. 2 overall out of Penn State in the 2018 NFL draft.

It remains good business for NFL teams to not “overpay” running backs who are on their second or third contracts. Many teams are opting for a “running back by committee” approach to their rushing attacks, a strategy that has worked in places such as Kansas City and previously, Philadelphia.

Pugh, who will be 34 in August, is not likely to be re-signed by the Giants after returning to the team last season and starting 12 games after New York suffered another unusually high spate of injuries along the offensive line.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire