Barkley enters his sixth season as perhaps the Giants’ most accomplished and important player.
Last year, Barkley was integral to the Giants’ comeback, winning nine regular-season games, making the playoffs for the first time since 2016, and winning the postseason for the first time in 11 years.
He started each of the first 16 games of the regular season, then was one of the inactive regulars in the final game of the season in Philadelphia, but it was the first time Barkley didn’t miss a game due to injury since the 2018 Rookie of the Year season. Barkley was named to his second Pro Bowl and was one of three players nominated for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Barkley totaled a career-high 295 carries for 1,312 yards (fourth-highest total in the NFL) and rushed for 10 touchdowns, one less than the rookie’s career-high total. Barkley has 133 more attempts, 719 more yards and eight more rushing touchdowns than he won in 13 games in 2021. Barkley had one touchdown in 10 of 16 games and two more in the postseason. He also tied Richie James for 338 yards with 57 receptions, leading the team, and was seventh in the NFL with 1,650 yards of scrimmage, nearly doubling his 2021 total of 856 yards.
Barkley joins New England’s Ramondle Stevenson and Chargers’ Austin Ekeler as the only players to lead the team in rushing and receiving.
He was named team captain four years in a row.
In five seasons, Barkley started all 60 regular-season games and two postseason games. His regular season record includes 4,249 rushing yards (4.5 yards average) on 954 carries, 29 touchdowns, 247 receptions for 1,820 yards (7.4 yards average) and eight points. He has 6,069 scrimmage yards.
In the 2022 playoffs, Barkley rushed for 114 yards on 18 attempts (6.3 yards average), two touchdowns, 77 yards caught on seven passes, and 191 yards from scrimmage.
Barkley’s 6,069 scrimmage yards is the most for a player starting his career with the Giants in his first five seasons. Rodney Hampton held the previous record with 5,892 yards.
Barkley finished the 2022 season sixth on the franchise career rush list, 389 yards behind Alex Webster. His 4,249 rushing yards are the second-highest in Giants history for total yards in a player’s first five seasons, behind only Hampton (4,807).
*The Giants signed free agent outside linebacker Tashawn Bower.
Bower, 28, is a 6-5, 250-pound player who has appeared in 26 regular-season games in Minnesota, New England and Las Vegas, starting three of them. He had 23 tackles (16 solo), 2.0 sacks and four lost tackles. In 2022, Bower appeared in six games for the Raiders.
Bower is a native of New Jersey and played four seasons with LSU.
* Linebacker Ellerson Smith (heel) webber/injured. A fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Smith appeared in just 13 games over two seasons, including five last year, due to injuries. His total included 5 tackles (1 solo), 2 quarterback hits, 6 special teams tackles, and 1 forced fumble on special teams.
*Defensive back Trenton Thompson has been waived.
Thompson, who signed as a rookie free agent last year, played in one Thanksgiving game in Dallas.